The Real Thing.

First Edition of Henry James' The Real Thing

The Real Thing.

JAMES, Henry.


Item Number: 78041

New York and London: Macmillan & Co, 1893.

First edition, second issue of one of James’ neatest tales. Octavo, original cloth. In near fine condition with light rubbing to the extremities, small tear to the front free endpaper.

First syndicated by S. S. McClure in multiple American newspapers and then published in the British publication Black and White in April 1892 and the following year as the title story in the collection, The Real Thing and Other Stories published by Macmillan. This story, often read as a parable, plays with the reality-illusion dichotomy that fascinated James, especially in the later stages of his career. For the illustrator who narrates the story, the genuine article proves all too useless for his commercial purposes. The story portrays the unfortunate victims of a society in which reality and representation are closely intertwined in ways that make art a difficult project to untangle the two.

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