Biography for Portrait of a Lady
Random House, Inc.
Henry James was born in 1843 in New York City. He traveled and studied extensively in New York, London, Paris and Geneva, and returned to the States in 1860, enrolling in Harvard Law School two years later. By 1865 he had begun to contribute reviews and short stories to periodicals in earnest. His first major piece of fiction, "Watch and Ward," was serialized in The Atlantic Monthly in 1870, and Roderick Hudson, his first major novel, was published in 1875. James spent the following decades abroad, first visiting Paris, where he met Ivan Turgenev, Emile Zola and Gustave Flaubert, then settling in London, where he lived for over twenty years and wrote several novels, including Washington Square, The Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, and The Princess Casamassima. In 1897 he moved to Lamb House in Rye, where he wrote his later novels, including The Awkward Age, The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors, and The Golden Bowl, and well as his popular ghost story, "The Turn of the Screw." James became a British subject in 1915. Two unfinished novels, The Ivory Tower and The Sense of the Past, were published as fragments after his death on February 28, 1916.