Henry James was born in New York in 1843, the younger brother of the philosopher William James, and was educated in Europe and America. He left Harvard Law School in 1863, after a year's attendance, to concentrate on writing, and from 1869 he began to make prolonged visits to Europe, eventually settling in England in 1876. His literary output was both prodigious and of the highest quality: more than ten outstanding novels including his masterpiece, The Portrait of a Lady; countless novellas and short stories; as well as innumerable essays, letters, and other pieces of critical prose. Known by contemporary fellow novelists as 'the Master', James died in Kensington, London, in 1916.
Sign up to the Pan Macmillan newsletter for great extra content and free extracts.