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Daisy Miller is a novella by Henry James which portrays the courtship of the beautiful American girl Daisy Miller by Winterbourne, a sophisticated countryman of hers. His pursuit of her is fraught by her own flirtatiousness.


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Daisy Miller is a novella by Henry James which portrays the courtship of the beautiful American girl Daisy Miller by Winterbourne, a sophisticated countryman of hers. His pursuit of her is fraught by her own flirtatiousness.

30 review for Daisy Miller (Illustrated): Free Audiobook Link

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    ‎Daisy Miller, Henry James Originally published in The Cornhill Magazine in 1878 and in book form in 1879, Daisy Miller brought Henry James his first widespread commercial and critical success. The young Daisy Miller, an American on holiday with her mother on the shores of Switzerland’s Lac Leman, is one of James’s most vivid and tragic characters. Daisy’s friendship with an American gentleman, Mr. Winterbourne, and her subsequent infatuation with a passionate but impoverished Italian bring to li ‎Daisy Miller, Henry James Originally published in The Cornhill Magazine in 1878 and in book form in 1879, Daisy Miller brought Henry James his first widespread commercial and critical success. The young Daisy Miller, an American on holiday with her mother on the shores of Switzerland’s Lac Leman, is one of James’s most vivid and tragic characters. Daisy’s friendship with an American gentleman, Mr. Winterbourne, and her subsequent infatuation with a passionate but impoverished Italian bring to life the great Jamesian themes of Americans abroad, innocence versus experience, and the grip of fate. As Elizabeth Hardwick writes in her Introduction, Daisy Miller “lives on, a figure out of literature who has entered history as a name, a vision.” تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز نوزدهم ماه نوامیر سال1984میلادی عنوان: دیزی میلر؛ اثر: هنری جیمز؛ مترجم: فرشته داوران؛ مشخصات نشر: کتاب تهران، چاپ دوم سال1336؛ چاپ سوم سال1363، در99ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، لوح فکر، سال1385؛ در125ص؛ شابک9648578176؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده ی19م عنوان: دیزی میلر؛ اثر: هنری جیمز؛ مترجم: فریده مهدوی دامغانی؛ تهران، نشر تیر، سال1380 در250ص، شابک9646581536؛ عنوان: دیزی میلر؛ نویسنده: هنری جیمز؛ مترجم: لیلا منتظر؛ اصفهان، نشر دارخوین، سال1400؛ در82ص؛ شابک9786222800543؛ عنوان: دیزی میلر؛ نویسنده: هنری جیمز؛ مترجم: محمود گودرزی؛ تهران، انتشارات برج، سال1401؛ در110ص؛ شابک9786227280838؛ داستان «دیزی میلر» حکایت زندگی در «آمریکا» در دوران خود نویسنده است؛ داستان نخستین بار در سال1878میلادی انتشار یافت؛ در این داستان نویسنده، «اروپا» و «آمریکا» را رودرروی یکدیگر قرار می‌دهند؛ گفته شده که ایشان نخستین بار، ایده ی نگارش این کتاب را از شایعاتی گرفته اند که دوست «ایتالیایی» ایشان، برای «هنری جیمز» درباره ی دختر زیبای «آمریکاییِ» پولداری، که همراه با مادر خویش شهرهای «اروپا» را میگشته، گفته اند؛ شایعاتی که دختر را به برهان اینکه عاشق پسری «ایتالیایی» شده، و نُرمهای اجتماعی حاکم در «اروپا» در آن روزگار را به چالش کشیده بود، سرزنش میکردند؛ نویسنده ی کتاب خود هیچگاه دختری که وصفش را شنیده بود، ندیدند، اما همان داستان، پایه و اساس رمان «دیزی میلر» را در خیال «هنری جیمز» بنا نهاد تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 22/03/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 29/01/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Customs of different countries and people seem of little importance today to many, we are basically the same , underneath... all humans, yet language, religion, history or even weather and geographic features divides us , what is accepted in one place is not in another: Daisy Miller, (real name Annie) is making the required Grand Tour of Europe, for wealthy Americans, those with aspirations to join high society, this novella was written in 1878. A typical American teenager , a girl, friendly, ne Customs of different countries and people seem of little importance today to many, we are basically the same , underneath... all humans, yet language, religion, history or even weather and geographic features divides us , what is accepted in one place is not in another: Daisy Miller, (real name Annie) is making the required Grand Tour of Europe, for wealthy Americans, those with aspirations to join high society, this novella was written in 1878. A typical American teenager , a girl, friendly, needing no proper introductions to speak to anyone, adventurous, never told to behave in a certain manner, in other words like a lady. This causes misunderstandings in Europe, scandals in fact but to Daisy the innocent, what is the big deal? With her timid, silly, unwise mother and rambunctious, nine- year -old brother , Randolph, a big pest, constantly getting into trouble. Miss Miller , is from a rich Schenectady, New York family, the father remained in America, taking care of business, no time to waste on trivial pursuits . Daisy is a great flirt, she doesn't realize the harm her reputation is suffering, ( quite an innocent child in the woods) the result, the Victorian era Europeans, are shocked...Going on walks with grown men , unchaperoned, disgusting, the gossip spreads far and wide, they say, she's gone too far. At a luxurious Swiss hotel, high in the always snow-capped mountains, by the gigantic, exquisite Lake Geneva, a Mr. Frederick Winterbourne, an idle expatiate of well to do Americans meets the unpretentious Daisy, unbelievably... without being properly introduced, an error that shows the upper class, she has no class, her kid brother informally did , after asking for a lump of sugar, from Winterbourne. Since Miss Miller, is very pretty and beautifully dressed, Frederick becomes obsessed with her, following Daisy to Rome, he's a gentleman though and was requested to do so, a promise is a promise . Besides Mr. Winterbourne, has an Aunt there. Daisy, of course, has many suitors, in the Eternal City, particularly a young, mysterious Giovanelli, an Italian without any apparent job, you can guess what he is, maybe wrongly. The small American community, are naturally offended and stop giving invitations, to their parties, the funny part is Daisy doesn't even realize it again, being much too busy. Winterbourne can't leave Rome, always hanging around , to get a chance to talk to Miss Miller, visiting the Roman Colosseum, in the moonlight........and surprisingly seeing Giovanelli and Daisy there together . She, tells the lovesick gentleman, Mr. Winterbourne some bad news indeed, states rather in an offhanded way that they're engaged... he can't believe it...Tragedy soon happens. One of Henry James's best books, it encompasses everything that the great author wanted to convey to the reader about Europe and America, they are similar...but not quite the same.

  3. 4 out of 5

    James

    Possible spoiler alert so be careful if you might not want to know the full plot. Book Review 4 of 5 stars to Daisy Miller by Henry James, a story about a free and unattached American girl who is spending some time in Europe after being removed from American society for some time. She unwittingly defies the moral code of European society, never realizing it until the very end when she dies. All throughout the story, “Daisy does what she likes, responds to what she likes. To the world Possible spoiler alert so be careful if you might not want to know the full plot. Book Review 4 of 5 stars to Daisy Miller by Henry James, a story about a free and unattached American girl who is spending some time in Europe after being removed from American society for some time. She unwittingly defies the moral code of European society, never realizing it until the very end when she dies. All throughout the story, “Daisy does what she likes, responds to what she likes. To the world around her she is a young girl, an American girl, she represents a society and a sex. She is expected to be what she appears-whether that is an innocent girl or a fallen woman” (Allen 337). In America, Daisy was free to roam about, flirting occasionally with the men. Once she enters Rome though, her behavior with a “dubious native [is] in defiance of the system of curfews and chaperons which [the society] holds dear” (Dupee 298). James sets up the plot of the story by having Daisy run into a man who is also an American transplant. Frederick Winterbourne, a kind free-spirited and unemployed gigolo, has lived in Europe for quite a few years searching for an older, rich woman to marry. When he meets Daisy, he is immediately intrigued by the “pretty American flirt” (James 102). Once this connection is established, Daisy’s innocence becomes the focus of the text. In the very beginning, “when contrary to the code of Geneva, [Winterbourne] speaks to the unmarried Daisy, he wonders whether ‘he has gone too far.’ . . . When he attempts to classify her, she undermines all of his stuffy and inapplicable generalizations. He decides that [Daisy] may be ‘cold,’ ‘austere,’ and ‘prim’ only to find her spontaneous and as ‘decently limpid as the very cleanest water’” (Gargano 314). Daisy and Winterbourne have now established their relationship at this point; They are attracted to one another and would like to go and see the Chateau de Chillon. When Winterbourne asks her to go with him, Daisy says, with some placidity, “With me?”. Winterbourne responds by respectfully inviting her mother along also. However, after the flirtatious exchange between the two, “[Daisy] didn’t rise, blushing, as a young girl at Geneva would have done” (James 103). The process in which Daisy loses her innocence begins here. However, James’s short story is told from the perspective of Winterbourne, which overshadows the true story of Daisy’s innocence. Readers see and understand Daisy’s actions through Winterbourne’s eyes and actions. After Winterbourne leaves town to care for his aunt, he and Edna find their way back to each other. However, Winterbourne is non-committal to Daisy because of her flirtatious behavior with him and other men. Nevertheless, Daisy is not alone when they meet up this time. She is dating an Italian man named Giovanelli, who is obviously only after her money. Daisy continues to see Giovanelli, but she also spends some time with Winterbourne. Society begins to see that she is involved with both of these two men, quite intimately apparently. Daisy’s mother thinks she is engaged to Giovanelli, but Daisy is also seen out with Winterbourne every once in a while. F. W. Dupee remarks that when society is “judging [Daisy’s] morals by her manners, they imagine the worst and they ostracize her. They are wrong” (Dupee 299). However, “all the chattering tongues of Rome do not bother Daisy. She knows that Winterbourne, the one person whose opinion she values, believes in her innocence and chastity” (Buitenhuis 310). Daisy later focuses her thoughts on Giovanelli, and ignores Winterbourne even though he has always believed in her innocence and cared for her. After losing track of Daisy for quite some time, Winterbourne runs across her at the Colosseum in Rome. The Colosseum was known to be a place where young lovers would go to experience passion and love. Daisy and Giovanelli are standing in the arena when Winterbourne notices them. Winterbourne tries to leave without making his presence known, but Daisy sees him. He asks her if she is engaged to Giovanelli, and Daisy tells him that she is. Winterbourne, at this point, believes that Daisy is nothing but a flirt who toys with men’s emotions for her own self-interest. It was also very dangerous for one to go near the Colosseum at such late hours because it was common for people to catch Roman Fever, a form of malaria. When Winterbourne tells Daisy this, she seems to hardly care at all about getting sick, and her actions even lead the readers to believe that she is going there purposely. Daisy’s actions appear suicidal. Winterbourne is concerned and he “not only expresses his concern for her health so recklessly exposed, but [by doing so,] he also lets her see that he has lost faith in her purity” (Buitenhuis 310). Shortly after, Daisy takes ill and begins to die. On her death bed, she can only think of telling Winterbourne that she really is not engaged to Giovanelli, who skips out on her once she gets sick. Daisy eventually dies from the Roman Fever. It seems as though “Daisy dies because she cannot be fitted into any European scheme of things” (Allen 337). At this point, “[Winterbourne] realizes too late that he could have loved Daisy, and that Daisy could have loved him” (Buitenhuis 310). It is sad that it has to come to this, but society binds women to the strict standards of what they can and cannot do. If Daisy was in America, she would have gotten away with her behavior, but she was in Europe. European culture expects women to conform to specific standards. Just as Daisy is expected to live by the customs of Europe, so is Edna Pontellier from Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    Daisy Miller is a short novel that seems to me like a condensed version of The Portrait of a Lady. Daisy is a young American girl traveling abroad in Europe with her mother and younger brother. Doing what any young American girl would consider normal, she is ridiculed and scorned for not adhering to the rigid and uncomprising moral standards and customs that existed in 19th century Europe, especially relating to young ladies actions in society. James writes his stories in a style that is uniquel Daisy Miller is a short novel that seems to me like a condensed version of The Portrait of a Lady. Daisy is a young American girl traveling abroad in Europe with her mother and younger brother. Doing what any young American girl would consider normal, she is ridiculed and scorned for not adhering to the rigid and uncomprising moral standards and customs that existed in 19th century Europe, especially relating to young ladies actions in society. James writes his stories in a style that is uniquely his own, very verbose some would say, but I like his writing and enjoy his stories.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lea

    “I have never allowed a gentleman to dictate to me, or to interfere with anything I do.” This short novel is an interesting exploration of the nature of freedom of women in face of social conventions built to put them in the box of decency and politeness. The structure of the society in which Daisy Miller lives isn't the one that is interested in her as a complete woman, with her desires and longings, but a statue of an ideal that bows down to the rules of appropriateness. Daisy Miller is a rebel “I have never allowed a gentleman to dictate to me, or to interfere with anything I do.” This short novel is an interesting exploration of the nature of freedom of women in face of social conventions built to put them in the box of decency and politeness. The structure of the society in which Daisy Miller lives isn't the one that is interested in her as a complete woman, with her desires and longings, but a statue of an ideal that bows down to the rules of appropriateness. Daisy Miller is a rebel and an outcast, she commits a deadly sin to society - she refuses for life to be defined by other people's opinion on her. What is her fault? She spends too much time with a young man she is in love with, in what seems to be innocent platonic walks and conversations, and she forms too spontaneously and easily friendships with men. Here we can also find a contrast between constricted well behaved European citizens and free spirited Americans in search of pleasure and spontaneity above all conventions. Winterbourne is a representation of European people, being both fascinated and repulsed by the new American perspective, and not being able to look away from what they perceive as strange vulgarity. “They are hopelessly vulgar. Whether or no being hopelessly vulgar is being 'bad' is a question for the metaphysicians. They are bad enough to dislike, at any rate; and for this short life that is quite enough.” Interestingly, Daisy's American father is rich, distant and absent, which hints at a different crisis of fatherhood that will be present in postmodernism, in contrast to too strict and cruel European father, origin of struggles for many European writers and intellectuals, a different kind of father complex described in Totem and Taboo. Strict fathers dictate the same rules that are incomprehensible to Daisy and Daisy's absent father makes her not being able to accept the imposed social boundaries especially surrounding her sexuality and romantic relationships, which is her demise in the end. European society is rigorous superego formed because of an authoritarian father that suppresses female sexuality, and Daisy is id, eros of woman's sexuality let loose in absence of healthy father figure. James describes the ambiguity of Daisy Miller, she has a mystic aura around her, and the reader can never pinpoint her exact personality or understand her motivation completely. “Winterbourne wondered how she felt about all the cold shoulders that were turned towards her, and sometimes it annoyed him to suspect that she did not feel at all. He said to himself that she was too light and childish, too uncultivated and unreasoning, too provincial, to have reflected upon her ostracism or even to have perceived it. Then at other moments he believed that she carried about in her elegant and irresponsible little organism a defiant, passionate, perfectly observant consciousness of the impression she produced. He asked himself whether Daisy's defiance came from the consciousness of innocence or from her being, essentially, a young person of the reckless class. It must be admitted that holding oneself to a belief in Daisy's "innocence" came to see Winterbourne more and more a matter of fine-spun gallantry. As I have already had occasion to relate, he was angry at finding himself reduced to chopping logic about this young lady; he was vexed at his want of instinctive certitude as to how far her eccentricities were generic, national, and how far they were personal. From either view of them he had somehow missed her, and now it was too late.” Is Daisy naive, ignorant, shallow, foolish, immature, coquettish, driven by pleasure, or is she making conscious decisions following her true self and desires of heart, that many people forget in the midst of the pressure of doing what is proper in the eyes of others? James brilliantly withholds from us the true essence of Daisy Miller, because society does not deserve to get to know the true self of the person it is trying to condemn. It is hinted, however, that her death is an act of rebellion. Daisy refuses to live in the system of rules, conventions and unauthenticity, and a world that punishes and refuses her. The novel abruptly ends with her death because the European society isn't yet prepared for the existence of Daisy Miller.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    This little story catalyzed a lot of late 19th century debate about American values and European values and--particularly--the confident, un-blushing American girl who is not inclined to conform to the snobbish tastes and attitudes of the upper class people she meets as her family becomes wealthy. "Daisy Miller" became a debatable type of American girl, Daisy Millerism a controversial kind of topic. Contemporary readers should give some thought to how Daisy's major sin against expatriate society i This little story catalyzed a lot of late 19th century debate about American values and European values and--particularly--the confident, un-blushing American girl who is not inclined to conform to the snobbish tastes and attitudes of the upper class people she meets as her family becomes wealthy. "Daisy Miller" became a debatable type of American girl, Daisy Millerism a controversial kind of topic. Contemporary readers should give some thought to how Daisy's major sin against expatriate society is that she spends time with and values the company of local people. Compare Winterbourne abroad, spending time only with people of means and breeding, to Daisy, who chooses to spend a lot of her time with Mr. Giovanelli, who is not--as Winterbourne's friends say--a treasure hunter but really a respectable and clever Italian man of modest means. (Daisy does not choose to spend to with scoundrels and criminals and men of low character, though Winterbourne's set sees her that way.) And then think about how middle class American kids backpacking around Europe and staying in hostels are Daisy's descendants, mixing and mingling with the local people because that's who interests them. And think of how in some ways contemporary horror movies about American kids running into trouble Europe--the Hostel films, for example--echo Daisy's troubles. The kids are too bold, brash, and confident, interested in local culture but on their own terms, and they run into trouble because of it. Of course, James doesn't run blame in one direction in "DM"; Daisy's overconfidence and naivete are not the only factors contributing to her fate. Winterbourne and his people antagonize and irritate Daisy so much that she disregards even their good advice (about, say, staying out of the Colosseum). And Winterbourne never gets around to admitting to himself that he likes Daisy very much more than he likes the upper class women who scare him with their threats of social ostracism. He never notices how Daisy's interest in culture is tied not to snobbish intellectual achievement but to understanding how people relate to and care about things. E.g., Rome comes alive for her when Giovanelli explains it, and the Chateau de Chillon is interesting only when Winterbourne--rather than the dry, dull tour guide--is explaining it. (For his part, Winterbourne is constantly hoping that Daisy's lapses from social propriety mean that she will yield up her person to him in some naughty way, and he even makes arrangements for that sort of thing at Chillon. Contrast to Giovanelli.) So it's a godo story, and it's short, and it deals with James's great Americans-scandalizing-Europe theme, so if you think you'd like to try out some Henry James, it's a great place to start.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jean-Luke

    It is as impossible for me to read anything about the Castle of Chillon and not think of Muriel Spark's The Finishing School as it for me to read about Rome and not recall Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley. Although I can see an argument for comparison to one--is it possible to describe Switzerland in any way that doesn't sound charming?--it would be more than a stretch to compare it to the other. To put it simply, Daisy Miller is a delight--until Mr. James punches you in the gut. Cu It is as impossible for me to read anything about the Castle of Chillon and not think of Muriel Spark's The Finishing School as it for me to read about Rome and not recall Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley. Although I can see an argument for comparison to one--is it possible to describe Switzerland in any way that doesn't sound charming?--it would be more than a stretch to compare it to the other. To put it simply, Daisy Miller is a delight--until Mr. James punches you in the gut. Cut from the same cloth as Sally Bowles and Holly Golighty, is it any wonder that I fell in love with her, rude and entitled and flippant as she is? Somewhere out there I'm sure there is an essay floating around about gay male writers and their breaking-the-mold female creations, but in case there isn't, there it is. I haven't read very much Henry James, but in terms of style this felt like Henry James Lite. Where have all the ridiculous sentences and endless commas gone? No, really, I don't mind, but it does leave me feeling slightly less accomplished.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kalliope

    WINTRY DAISIES I rarely discuss plot, and doing so in a book on which so much has been written, seems to me like jumping into a bottomless pit. But I was sad, no; I ought to say that it irked me that Henry James had her Annie, ‘Daisy’, die at the end. For I was becoming more and more interested in her. Was she a superficial and provincial flirt? Or was she extremely modern and free in her defiance of stringent rules? For even if the stiff Winterbourne, when faced with a similar riddle eventuall WINTRY DAISIES I rarely discuss plot, and doing so in a book on which so much has been written, seems to me like jumping into a bottomless pit. But I was sad, no; I ought to say that it irked me that Henry James had her Annie, ‘Daisy’, die at the end. For I was becoming more and more interested in her. Was she a superficial and provincial flirt? Or was she extremely modern and free in her defiance of stringent rules? For even if the stiff Winterbourne, when faced with a similar riddle eventually took the first possibility, I was leaning towards the second as the book advanced and James decided to uproot the fascinating spring flower as the wintry clouds approached and began threatening her. As this was James’ first true success, I also wondered at what exactly had appealed to his contemporary readers.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    It's so hard, when you are a pretty young lady, to find any old closeted priggish gentlemen to warn you that you're about to die of flirting. "But what," you always find yourself wondering, "Would a middle-aged bachelor from the 1800s do?" Thank heaven, into the void steps Henry James. And y'know when books like this get written - books where women do what they want and are punished for it - there's always this, like, "But you can see that his sympathy lies with the woman" argument, right? Peopl It's so hard, when you are a pretty young lady, to find any old closeted priggish gentlemen to warn you that you're about to die of flirting. "But what," you always find yourself wondering, "Would a middle-aged bachelor from the 1800s do?" Thank heaven, into the void steps Henry James. And y'know when books like this get written - books where women do what they want and are punished for it - there's always this, like, "But you can see that his sympathy lies with the woman" argument, right? People want to say the author is trying to undermine the constraints put on women, by showing how sad it is when a vivacious young lady gets beaten down. Surely Daisy Miller herself is the only even faintly likable character in this book, isn't she? Isn't the narrator, Winterbourne, just a dreadful little tightassed shit? All he does is, like, "She's so naughty! And yet I want her! But yet - she's so naughty!" Not that Henry James has any idea what it is to be naughty. The closest he gets to horny is pointing out that she has a cute little nose. Top 7 1800s Books About Naughty Little Minxes Who Get What's Coming To Them Daisy Miller Scarlet Letter Anna Karenina Madame Bovary The Awakening House of Mirth (close enough, shut up, and thank you Julie) The Coquette So Daisy Miller gallivants around Europe with her cute little nose and various gentlemen, or men anyway. Winterbourne sniffs of one that he's "anything but a gentleman; he isn't even a very plausible imitation of one." She promptly gallivants right into Rome's Colosseum with the implausible imitation, and I love this scene because it's so Thomas Hardy, right? Hardy's always throwing these wild dramatic scenes in epic settings. Of course James doesn't have any idea what to do once he gets all his characters there - Henry James wouldn't know a dramatic scene if it gave him a handjob in a dark alley - so they all just sortof lurk about and then go home. Winterbourne feels shocked about her judgment. Daisy is soon to feel something else. That's Cybill Shepherd looking sassy there "I've never allowed a gentleman to dictate to me or to interfere with anything I do," says Daisy, and do you feel excitement or dread when she says it? Henry James is a subtle and careful writer, and it's like him to leave it murky whose side he's on. Maybe it's judgey old Winterbourne who's naughty! But here's my thing: I do think we should maybe admit that there are a lot of these books, and surely all of the writers can't be trying to undermine, right? Or else what would they even be undermining? The most seriously subversive books up above were written by women. And in any case books have characters but they also have plots, and plots matter. That old asshole Philip Roth used to say, "The thought of the novelist lies not in the remarks of his characters or even in their introspection, but in the plight he has invented for his characters." The novelist invents not only what they have coming for them but whether it comes. What comes for Daisy Miller? (view spoiler)[It's malaria! She catches malaria at the Colosseum - Rome was just lousy with malaria at the time, so being there at night actually was a little dumb - and she dies. Murdered by flirting! (hide spoiler)] So, I mean, if you were wondering whose side James is on, remember that in Daisy Miller's world he is God. And just as a general rule: if you're wondering who's naughty, look for who's getting spanked.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Agnieszka

    Henry James in a nutshell. This novel contains all typical and topical for him issues, to mention only freshness and spontaneity contra preciosity and social niceties, differences between young and puritan country and fossilized and sophisticated Old World, clash between America and Europe, innocence of the first and corruption of the latter, though in that particular example we have rather America versus America. Daisy Miller, a young American, stays with her mother and younger brother at a hot Henry James in a nutshell. This novel contains all typical and topical for him issues, to mention only freshness and spontaneity contra preciosity and social niceties, differences between young and puritan country and fossilized and sophisticated Old World, clash between America and Europe, innocence of the first and corruption of the latter, though in that particular example we have rather America versus America. Daisy Miller, a young American, stays with her mother and younger brother at a hotel in one of the Swiss resorts, Vevey where she is acquainted with Frederick Winterbourne, American by birth but European by education and choice. The man is smitten with her beauty and unpretentious behavior. He considers her a charming coquette, a flirt even, more attractive than European ladies he used to know. From his censorious aunt he learns, however, that Daisy is not a good catch and what's even worse due to her overly casual, inappropriate manners and reckless behavior she’s considered a thorn in local social scene’s flesh. Did I enjoy Daisy Miller? Yes, a lot though I perceive it as a prelude to Henry James’ later works portraying an independent and self-sufficient protagonists. Did I like Daisy? Not that much. But my not succumbing to her charm or behaviour had different roots than disliking and ostracism she was subjected to by her compatriots. She was too infantine and flirtatious to my liking; you could say that there’s nothing wrong with flirtatiousness, agreed, but I felt that behind her coquettish way of being, that could be only a mask, nothing really was hidden. Daisy was carefree and naïve young girlie, not giving a damn what people think of her. Very well, I liked that particular quality in her for I didn't care about this hypocritical, mutual admiration society either, but unfortunately I thought she was empty and shallow too. Even if at first I was willing to think about her attitude as a façade so why I constantly had the impression that innocence felt more like silliness ? Did she discard social restraints ? Yes, though rather out of sheer contrariness than conscious choice. Was she an innocent victim of the ruthless and snobbish milieu? Yes, again but it didn't make her a heroine I would identify with. She was charming, spontaneous and easily giving in to a charm of the moment but that's not enough for me. I expected more complexity here, I expected a woman ahead of her times. She wanted attention, she wanted to shine and she wanted to remain herself. Go for it, Daisy ! But constant babbling about nothing and batting your eyelashes or forbidden forays to mark your independence not especially spoke to me. Maybe I look at the novel from the wrong angle, too contemporary, through the times when young unmarried girl on the tryst with handsome foreigner is nothing that scandalous, at least in most countries. Perhaps if I have changed a perspective I could admit her actions being more brave than frivolous? I was looking at her like at rare colourful specimen by some unfortunate accident wrongly placed and not like a person who was to herald a modern and self-aware woman. For more complex and multifaceted personalities in Henry James’ oeuvre I rather look around for Catherine Sloper or Isabel Archer. I’m not up to reading too much in symbolism though maybe Daisy and Winterbourne are not that accidental names after all, and choosing Coliseum, place where people were dying for their beliefs, for fateful excursion somewhat appeals to me as well. And, on reflection, that’s not true that Daisy didn’t care about others, after all her last words witness that she did care what Winterbourne would think about her. And I find it highly ironic if not tragic too. 3.5/5

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    In one of James’s most famous works, an aging bachelor follows around and obsesses over whether or not a young American girl at the same Swiss resort as he is innocent or vulgar. Again and again Winterbourne, a longtime American expat, alternates between talking directly with Daisy Miller, the figure at the novel’s center, and summing up her character with his aunt. The plot’s dry but swift, and much of the social commentary is now commonplace.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    "She seemed to him, in all this, an extraordinary mixture of innocence and crudity." - Henry James, Daisy Miller Who killed Daisy Miller? Americans? Italians? Americans in Europe? She was certainly killed socially by a combination of all of those, but she was killed also by her own indiffernce to what people thought of her. This novella, written in 1878, seeks to explore the interplay of social norms between Europe and America. Like many "great writers" in the late 19th Century, James' most popula "She seemed to him, in all this, an extraordinary mixture of innocence and crudity." - Henry James, Daisy Miller Who killed Daisy Miller? Americans? Italians? Americans in Europe? She was certainly killed socially by a combination of all of those, but she was killed also by her own indiffernce to what people thought of her. This novella, written in 1878, seeks to explore the interplay of social norms between Europe and America. Like many "great writers" in the late 19th Century, James' most popular novels are often his shorter one. It was cleanly written and intriguing. I'm am surprised (a bit) by how FIXATED the late 1800s were on social expectations (especially in the upper classes). I mean, I'm not REALLY surprised, but sometimes when you think you've hit the bottom, there are more steps down. While I would always prefer to have money than not. I'm pretty sure to be an upper-class woman in the late Victorian period certainly must have sucked (that being said, being a lower-class woman in the 1800s wasn't a stroll in a Roman park either). Just look at Tolstoy's novella The Kreutzer Sonata (pub. 1889) and this one (1878). Both James and Tolstoy seem fixated on propriaty and women's place. Tolstoy was more interested in preaching and James was more interested in understanding, but still it was weird to read them so close together. I need to read about Wonder Woman next, or something where a woman isn't being judged by men (and society) beacuse she walks with an Italian or plays piano with a violinist.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David

    Qui se passes ses fantaisies.... She does what she wishes. Daisy Miller, published in 1879 brought Henry Miller his first success. The short novela (72 pages) casts an eye of societal norms of the day. Told through the eyes of a fellow American but raised in Geneva, Winterbourne is charmed by the open spirited Daisy Miller, who is traveling in Europe with her mother and nine-year brother, Randolph. This is a book about class, elitism, snobbery and money. The Millers have enough money for part of t Qui se passes ses fantaisies.... She does what she wishes. Daisy Miller, published in 1879 brought Henry Miller his first success. The short novela (72 pages) casts an eye of societal norms of the day. Told through the eyes of a fellow American but raised in Geneva, Winterbourne is charmed by the open spirited Daisy Miller, who is traveling in Europe with her mother and nine-year brother, Randolph. This is a book about class, elitism, snobbery and money. The Millers have enough money for part of the family to see Europe (the father stays home to make enough for him to travel later). As was the custom back then, the Americans want to be “educated” by the grand old countries of Europe, and yet, Europe doesn’t seem to fit well with the Millers. Daisy, who is use to flirting at social parties in America, is bored and wants to experience Europe. Enter the men in Daisy’s life. First Winterbourne, then an Italian Giovanelli. Boating on Lake Geneva, then outings in Rome. Gossip and elders who knew better. A recipe for disaster? Is Daisy free spirited? Naive? A little tart? Reckless? What kind of family does she come from? Obviously not classy enough. Henry James does not lecture morals, only reflects the times. One can infer a lot in this book. For us 150 years later, it may seem dated but that “gossip effect” still exists today.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Frona

    To condemn values of victorian origin it is necessary to demonstrate that they cannot overcome some of their essential antagonisms. If a critique of questionable morals is the intention of this book, the second part is more vauge, since it lacks any struggle worth struggeling for. We get to meet a young woman without many redeeming qualities that lives only to charm man-kind. She fights for nothing but her right to annoy, which meets some reservations among others, readers as well. "All I want i To condemn values of victorian origin it is necessary to demonstrate that they cannot overcome some of their essential antagonisms. If a critique of questionable morals is the intention of this book, the second part is more vauge, since it lacks any struggle worth struggeling for. We get to meet a young woman without many redeeming qualities that lives only to charm man-kind. She fights for nothing but her right to annoy, which meets some reservations among others, readers as well. "All I want is a little fuss" she tells us and summerizes her motives. If the author's intention was to show that any person, no matter how superfluous she may be, deserves freedom and acceptance, it would be a wonderful book, with all the steady rythm and clarity of style. But he seems to claim the opposite - all that lies under the petty social judgments are some innocent actions performed by harmless girls, and so such social standards are worthless. And although he tries to make a tragic hero out of her, he lets her stand out only in her poise, for her mind stays old-fashioned, as men remain her only interest. Maybe that's how changes always form, first comes form and then comes the content. But I think it would be better if he just put less fantasy and more life into it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    John Mauro

    In "Daisy Miller," the eponymous character is a rich American girl from upstate New York who is living in Switzerland. She is courted by Mr. Winterbourne, a young American expatriate who comes from old money and has been fully Europeanized, and by a less gentlemanly Italian, Mr. Giovanelli. Daisy Miller's personality is essentially defined by being an American flirt. According to the sophicated Mr. Winterbourne, "Flirting is a purely American custom; it doesn't exist here." Apparently new money ca In "Daisy Miller," the eponymous character is a rich American girl from upstate New York who is living in Switzerland. She is courted by Mr. Winterbourne, a young American expatriate who comes from old money and has been fully Europeanized, and by a less gentlemanly Italian, Mr. Giovanelli. Daisy Miller's personality is essentially defined by being an American flirt. According to the sophicated Mr. Winterbourne, "Flirting is a purely American custom; it doesn't exist here." Apparently new money can buy you an extended stay in Europe, but it can't buy you sophistication: "It is very true," Winterbourne pursued, "that Daisy and her mamma have not yet risen to that stage of - what shall I call it? - of culture, at which the idea of catching a count or a marchese begins. I believe that they are intellectually incapable of that conception." Of course, the trope of innocent, uncultured Americans in Europe is not new. But Henry James distilled the trope down to a more digestible form than Nathaniel Hawthorne ever achieved. None of the characters here have any depth. They spend almost the entire book worried about what is proper vs. improper, except for the few pages where they are concerned about the Roman fever, a convenient plot device for killing off characters who aren't worthy of an actual development arc. Rather than spending her time flirting with obnoxious young men, Daisy's time would have been better spent trying to develop a vaccine for that dreaded Roman fever... Writing a book? Don't know how to end it? Try Roman fever, the perfect way for your characters to go out in tragic style and leave your readers abruptly with a sense of unearned profundity. Roman fever. Order it today for only three easy payments of 99 lire and receive free wildflowers to place at your character's grave.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sawsan

    The major point in this novel is the difference of social behaviour between Europe and America Daisy Miller is a young American woman refused to comply with the strict European laws of manners that govern behavior James showed the stereotype judgment of society, and the effect of these unfair judgments on people's lives the novel was published in 1878 The major point in this novel is the difference of social behaviour between Europe and America Daisy Miller is a young American woman refused to comply with the strict European laws of manners that govern behavior James showed the stereotype judgment of society, and the effect of these unfair judgments on people's lives the novel was published in 1878

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stephen P(who no longer can participate due to illness)

    Ah Daisy. What to do with you. You scuttle about this novel innocent, coquettish, a young pretty American in a foreign land. Why is it you won’t listen? Neither to James or to me. Even your name sounds fresh, innocent. You, in such young years have disarmed Rome’s society by seeing through their mountains of hypocrisy by not caring about what they consider scandalous or any careless dreams of joining their ranks. Of course the narrator is too stiff for you, caught in his own web of threaded conce Ah Daisy. What to do with you. You scuttle about this novel innocent, coquettish, a young pretty American in a foreign land. Why is it you won’t listen? Neither to James or to me. Even your name sounds fresh, innocent. You, in such young years have disarmed Rome’s society by seeing through their mountains of hypocrisy by not caring about what they consider scandalous or any careless dreams of joining their ranks. Of course the narrator is too stiff for you, caught in his own web of threaded concealments barricaded against the throb of his own heart. But the Roman? Hmm. Handsome and pliable. A remainder to keep and mold. A lingering phantasm. And about James? He is a well known author you know. You were in good hands. Set down debutant-ish, and through your naivety and good looks much was to happen to and for you. When was it Daisy? When did you take the reigns from James, the master, and from me and what is now looking back my metronomed reading of comforting expectations. Did James know about it? Maybe up to a point. Or not. Your shedding Daisy of James’ cast and mold, tossing aside the mask of coquetry for the emblem of Revolution? What? Poor James. Poor me. Fools that we are. You had no intention of, being deeded by a man as a parcel of property to be owned, of a society to set you to work to climb into the tiered class above through fools tricks, nor by family name or the interworking of family constrictions, and certainly not by a reader who now has to reformulate this buzzing readerly world and recompose himself with a new idol. A gleaming freedom fighter. So, why did James kill you off? He can be, you know, a bitter old man. Well. maybe that’s a little too strong but if it were you Daisy you would come right out and say it. One possibility I think is that you went your own way leaving him with his masterly pen in his masterly hand. He was pissed. The only means of gaining control of you and the story, your story, was to kill you. But could it have also been a cautionary tale James was trying to work out? That if you fly too close to the sun your stalwart wings will be seared? As I think more about it the master might have been saying, you, we, can never reach total freedom though it may be worth trying, centering one’s life around, since there is the body weighing us down. It is moving towards death as soon as it is, if not cared for, or even so… You left him flailing with your meteoric rise to the heights of universal hero battling for what freedom we can have, which is why his ending this tale in your absence seemed something tacked on both hollowing the story out and weighing it down. I closed the book but don’t worry Daisy you will remain on for the foreseeable future.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luís

    I bought this book because I wanted to get an idea of the style of Henry James. I was not disappointed; everything was perfect. However, I could not find anything transcendent to Daisy Miller; if not rebellious, I would qualify her instead as capricious. The back cover summary is lovely, but we realize that we have known more spicy as a heroine when we immerse ourselves in reading. I had trouble getting attached to this character; once the book closed, I quickly forgot her. However, since this b I bought this book because I wanted to get an idea of the style of Henry James. I was not disappointed; everything was perfect. However, I could not find anything transcendent to Daisy Miller; if not rebellious, I would qualify her instead as capricious. The back cover summary is lovely, but we realize that we have known more spicy as a heroine when we immerse ourselves in reading. I had trouble getting attached to this character; once the book closed, I quickly forgot her. However, since this book is a short story, it reads very fast and allows you to think about something else for an hour or two.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    How to make this book better: Winterbourne meets Daisy Miller and decides he does not like her. He returns home. THE END.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    "I'm very fond of society, and I have always had a great deal of it." In no time at all, Winterbourne becomes infatuated with young Daisy Miller, a "pretty American flirt," whom he considers to be "uncultivated," and an "inscrutable combination of audacity and innocence." His aunt disapproves, considering the girl and her family to be "common." And indeed, Daisy wastes no time in flaunting society's rules, setting tongues wagging. As a member of the proletariat, I should not enjoy a book concer "I'm very fond of society, and I have always had a great deal of it." In no time at all, Winterbourne becomes infatuated with young Daisy Miller, a "pretty American flirt," whom he considers to be "uncultivated," and an "inscrutable combination of audacity and innocence." His aunt disapproves, considering the girl and her family to be "common." And indeed, Daisy wastes no time in flaunting society's rules, setting tongues wagging. As a member of the proletariat, I should not enjoy a book concerning the exploits of the idle rich, but like The Great Gatsby, good writing can make all the difference. There's not much to this brief novel, and the obsession with manners and public behavior reminded me quite a bit of Colette's work. Still, it was eminently readable, and undoubtedly a good introduction to James' oeuvre.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    First written in 1878, Daisy Miller is a novella focusing on a Henry James staple- Americans travelling in large numbers on their "Grand Tour" of Europe and the clashing of cultures between Americans and Europeans. Other than that, I really don't have anything to add. First written in 1878, Daisy Miller is a novella focusing on a Henry James staple- Americans travelling in large numbers on their "Grand Tour" of Europe and the clashing of cultures between Americans and Europeans. Other than that, I really don't have anything to add.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I have not read many of Henry James' works to date and am slowly adding some to my list. Today was time for Daisy Miller, originally published in 1878. This is really a novella, the story of a young woman seeing the Continent with her mother and young brother and catching the eye of one Mr. Winterbourne, an American who resides in Europe. James himself is present as narrator occasionally to exclaim in some way on the activity or thoughts of his characters. The young woman is Daily Miller from New I have not read many of Henry James' works to date and am slowly adding some to my list. Today was time for Daisy Miller, originally published in 1878. This is really a novella, the story of a young woman seeing the Continent with her mother and young brother and catching the eye of one Mr. Winterbourne, an American who resides in Europe. James himself is present as narrator occasionally to exclaim in some way on the activity or thoughts of his characters. The young woman is Daily Miller from New York state. She remarks upon her visits to New York City but her desire for large venues has led to this trip abroad. She is an enigma to Winterbourne who is puzzled by her behavior. She flirts as Americans do but she seems without guile. But she tempts the disapproval of the fashionable who she would court by her wish to be independent, particularly in her assignations with men. She prefers what will be 20th century behaviors but it is not yet time. And it may not yet be time even at home in America. By the end of this work, Daisy has received her final comeuppance for her "behavior" on the Continent, behavior deemed not quite right by those who are in the know, both European and Americans abroad. Is it innocence or not caring to conform that leads her on her own path? Is she as gullible as she seems to try to paint herself or does she want the best of all worlds: to be independent, enjoy her walking out with these charming men, and also preserving her place in society? I'm not sure exactly where I put her on this scale, but it seems the Puritan gods have had their say in the end.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    7/10 In a previous life, Daisy Miller garnered five glowing stars, and she shone unabashedly here for all my time on goodreads. But if you'd ask me now about the inimitable Daisy, I would demur. She's a little too coy and flirtatious for me. In fact, I find Henry James just a little too annoyingly clever in this novella. (Or was it cleverly annoying? I couldn't make up my mind whether it was his cleverness that annoyed me more ... or that he was more annoying than clever in playing fast and loose 7/10 In a previous life, Daisy Miller garnered five glowing stars, and she shone unabashedly here for all my time on goodreads. But if you'd ask me now about the inimitable Daisy, I would demur. She's a little too coy and flirtatious for me. In fact, I find Henry James just a little too annoyingly clever in this novella. (Or was it cleverly annoying? I couldn't make up my mind whether it was his cleverness that annoyed me more ... or that he was more annoying than clever in playing fast and loose with Daisy's life, and being so gosh-darn-obvious about Winterbourne's seasonally-accurate disposition.) I once revelled in the melodrama of it all. Now, I look at it and see only an artist's sketch of a later masterpiece. This, to me, is James-The-Apprentice, working out his angst on the then-modern-woman; working out his feelings on the sensibility split between European and American ideals; working it all out, in fact, like a young artist with his first set of coloured pencils: doodling away at what he only has a premonition. The brickbat that came sailing through the window at one point made me realize the heavy-handedness of the (youngish) artist that I had not noticed before. Ostensibly describing Daisy, he is of course reflecting on America itself in the following passage: "They ceased to invite her; and they intimated that they desired to express to observant Europeans the great truth that, though Miss Daisy Miller was a young American lady, her behavior was not representative -- was regarded by her compatriots as abnormal. Winterbourne wondered how she felt about all the cold shoulders that were turned toward her, and sometimes it annoyed him to suspect that she did not feel it at all. He said to himself that she was too light and childish, too uncultivated and unreasoning, too provincial, to have reflected upon her ostracism, or even to have perceived it. The at other moments he believed she carried about in her elegant and irresponsible little organism a defiant, passionate, perfectly observant consciousness of the impression she produced. He asked himself whether Daisy's defiance came from the consciousness of innocence, or from her being, essentially, a young person of the reckless class. It must be admitted that holding one's self to a belief in Daisy's "innocence" came to seem to Winterbourne more and more a matter of fine-spun gallantry. As I have already had occasion to relate, he was angry at finding himself reduced to chopping logic about this young lady; he was vexed at this want of instinctive certitude as to how far her eccentricities were generic, national, and how far they were personal." Powerful words, at first reading. And then it seems all a bit ho hum, because I ask myself ... how many times have I encountered this exact sentiment in James ... in almost the exact words. As I make my way through James's oeuvre once again, I'm finding a lot of these artist's sketches, in fact, and I'm surprised that I didn't pay attention to them in quite the same way the first time 'round. The grand master is a bit tarnished in my eyes, of late, not so much because his major works don't deserve great merit -- but that all the minor works are ... indeed ... quite minor. Too much has been made of them, unreasonably. There's too much of working, and reworking, the same theme, with the same characters. They come to me now as cardboard cutouts -- paper dolls -- where one simply adorns the characters with new outfits and a new (European) city but they live the same lives as their predecessors, agonize over the same things in the old familiar way, and often come to the same resolution in exactly the same way. James's characters have become a bit of a blur in my mind, in the way that Dickens's, or Hardy's, or Eliot's do not. While each writer, admittedly, works on familiar, comfortable themes repeatedly, their characters are uniquely memorable in all their works. With James, I'm finding that only his major works "work" for me. And so, the halo is tarnished, after all.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brierly

    If you haven't read Henry James, I would recommend Daisy Miller over the longer works. James crafts beautiful sentences with a lot of description and semicolons. His nickname is "The Master" and you can see why. Not much happens in a James narrative, but I love 19th century literature (formalities and all) so he's always been a favorite of mine. The narrative follows a young American man, Winterbourne, as he observes and critiques a young American woman--Daisy Miller--through their brief acquanta If you haven't read Henry James, I would recommend Daisy Miller over the longer works. James crafts beautiful sentences with a lot of description and semicolons. His nickname is "The Master" and you can see why. Not much happens in a James narrative, but I love 19th century literature (formalities and all) so he's always been a favorite of mine. The narrative follows a young American man, Winterbourne, as he observes and critiques a young American woman--Daisy Miller--through their brief acquantanceship. You get to see all the basic elements of James at play but without the page fatigue. And, if you do fall in love with his writing, there's loads more.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ivana Books Are Magic

    I would say that Daisy Miller is a great introduction to Henry James. This book is not only shorter, but also less complex than other works of his that I have read. However, it bears a close resemblance to his novels and explores similar themes. Having previously read The Portrait of a Lady, I found it hard not to compare the two. Moreover, while I was reading Daisy Miller I experienced, perhaps predictably, a feeling of déjà vu. Daisy Miller was, if I recall well, James' first commercial litera I would say that Daisy Miller is a great introduction to Henry James. This book is not only shorter, but also less complex than other works of his that I have read. However, it bears a close resemblance to his novels and explores similar themes. Having previously read The Portrait of a Lady, I found it hard not to compare the two. Moreover, while I was reading Daisy Miller I experienced, perhaps predictably, a feeling of déjà vu. Daisy Miller was, if I recall well, James' first commercial literary success. Anyhow, I came to this novella with high expectations, but I wasn't disappointed. Annie Miller aka Daisy is, just like Isabelle the heroine of his novel The Portrait of a Lady, an American girl visiting Europe for the first time. We could say that both girls are ‘discovering’ not only Europe but themselves for isn’t there something about travel that can make us open our eyes? One could argue that travel always makes us compare and reevaluate things, and while we are about it, perhaps we could also add that travelling can make us learn something about ourselves? Youth is all about trying to discover who we are. In addition, when one is young, everything can feel like a discovery. If one wants to write a novel that comments on society, a young woman always makes for a good protagonist. Why? Because society is especially diligent when it comes to paying attention to young ladies. This attention is not always a positive one, indeed, our society can be quite judgemental when it comes to young women. Young ladies are the ones who have to keep ‘their reputation intact’. They are expected to behave accordingly to certain society rules, and while the society rules of this novel may seem ‘archaic’ to a modern reader, one can still appreciate the sharp contrast between personal desires and social norms. The description of pressure that society can put on an individual is often a part of James’ writing. The relationship between our social and individual identity is always an interesting subject. Henry James excels at portraying the society and emphasizing the social pressure on individual. James’ dialogues are always well written and natural sounding, but at the same time they capture the social norms with finesse. In this novel James compares and contrasts American and European society on more levels than one. The novel opens up in Switzerland with Daisy meeting a fellow American Fredrick, who falls in love with her shortly. Daisy is not approved of by his aunt. Fredrick seems to be uncertain of his views of Daisy, but remains attracted to her. They socialize and spend some time together, but eventually Fredrick has to leave Daisy who invites him to visit her in Rome. They do meet in Rome, but there Daisy has made a new friend, a young Italian man nobody seems to approve of. I would lie if I said that I cared deeply about what happened to Daisy. I cared, but not that much, it was more a feeling of detachment than indifference. Naturally, I was sad to see Daisy treated unfairly but I couldn’t relate to her fully, because I found it hard to figure out who Daisy really was. Was Daisy provocative or was she just stubborn? Was she daring or was she just a flirt? Henry James is ever the master of ambiguity and while I usually enjoy the elusiveness of his writing, in this case I think there just wasn’t enough space for proper character development. With this book James manages to capture our attention, create a credible character and build a tragic story around her, but the writer doesn’t attempt a complex character study. Perhaps this decision only makes sense considering the length and the organization of the book. Speaking of the plot and the narrative, the ending was somewhat abrupt, but perhaps only more powerful because of that. James' prose flows as beautifully as ever. His sentences are elegant and well crafted, his social observations clever and to the point. Is it enough? Quite frankly, for me it is. This novella was a wonderful read. It lacked the depth and the complexity of A Portrait Of a lady, but it makes for a lovely read. The story is somewhat predictable, yet by the time I finished reading this novella, I was glad I read it. It sure wasn't a wasted effort. It wasn’t much of an effort at all. Daisy Miller was easy to read, an enjoyable book with enough food for the thought. I would recommend it to all fans of Henry James as well as those who want to read more of him but lack the time or the motivation to tackle his longer works.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Ted

    8th book of 2021. Artist for this review is French painter Gustave Courbet. A short novella with limited setting, with one notable place in the novel being Château de Chillon—the setting of perhaps my favourite ever poem, Bryon’s “The Prisoner of Chillon”. It is an island castle in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Near the end of the story, the male character, Winterbourne (a great surname), quotes Byron to himself, but, alas, not “The Prisoner of Chillon”. I will, instead; here is Byron’s prisoner on t 8th book of 2021. Artist for this review is French painter Gustave Courbet. A short novella with limited setting, with one notable place in the novel being Château de Chillon—the setting of perhaps my favourite ever poem, Bryon’s “The Prisoner of Chillon”. It is an island castle in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Near the end of the story, the male character, Winterbourne (a great surname), quotes Byron to himself, but, alas, not “The Prisoner of Chillon”. I will, instead; here is Byron’s prisoner on the castle and the lake below. He refers to Lake Geneva, though calls it by a different name, Lake Leman: Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls: A thousand feet in depth below Its massy waters meet and flow; Thus much the fathom-line was sent From Chillon's snow-white battlement, Which round about the wave inthralls: A double dungeon wall and wave Have made—and like a living grave Below the surface of the lake “The Château de Chillon”—1874 I was also reminded of Middlemarch, actually, and wondered if there is a deliberate allusion to it. James and Eliot knew each other, they must have done, as James famously (infamously) spoke of the latter’s ugliness. Middlemarch was published before this, so I wonder if James is referencing one of Eliot’s characters when Daisy Miller (our enigmatic American woman) mentions, in passing, meeting an English woman with the surname Featherstone—a surname that is shared by many characters in Eliot’s 1871 tome. And, just like in Middlemarch, this novella has an interlude in the city of Rome. And Daisy herself is reminiscent of a Holly Golightly, Sally Bowles type character… But that’s enough allusions for now. This novel is really what I call a “nothing” novel; it is entertaining while it lasts, in this case, not overly long, but beyond mild interest (enough to continue reading it), it gave no profound impression or emotion. In other words, it is fairly forgettable. James’ prose is quite light here, surprisingly, comparing it to the denseness of Turn of the Screw, for example. At its publication I suppose Daisy Miller was quite the character, flaunting and flirting around with various men without caring what others thought of her. And Winterbourne, only 27, falls for this young woman. It is never so simple. The story is short and easy to follow and ends rather predictably, for its time. I’ll leave that as it is. Next it is about time I tackled some of James’ larger works, for I haven’t got any solid feeling about him yet.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Exina

    Required reading for American literature seminar. A very interesting story; I enjoyed this one. I like a lady to be exclusive; I'm dying to be exclusive myself. Required reading for American literature seminar. A very interesting story; I enjoyed this one. I like a lady to be exclusive; I'm dying to be exclusive myself.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Yulia

    a flimsy glance of an unintriguing character. i couldn't feel sorry for her; she seemed too frivolous to pity. and the double standard at the end is rather heavy-handed. a flimsy glance of an unintriguing character. i couldn't feel sorry for her; she seemed too frivolous to pity. and the double standard at the end is rather heavy-handed.

  29. 4 out of 5

    James

    I loved this book, in less than 90 pages, a wonderfully understated tragedy unfolds, society is judged and found wanting in a way that resonates today. In Daisy Miller, a young woman has her every move dissected by a hovering society unwilling to ascribe anything but the most base of motives to behavior that falls out of their norms. The norms defined by the late 19th century may seem ridiculously stifling to our modern eye, but I would argue that these norms have been eased, replaced but not re I loved this book, in less than 90 pages, a wonderfully understated tragedy unfolds, society is judged and found wanting in a way that resonates today. In Daisy Miller, a young woman has her every move dissected by a hovering society unwilling to ascribe anything but the most base of motives to behavior that falls out of their norms. The norms defined by the late 19th century may seem ridiculously stifling to our modern eye, but I would argue that these norms have been eased, replaced but not removed, particularly if you are a young woman. Reading the other reviews my reaction seems to be a highly individual interpretation. In particular, the lack of consensus on Daisy Miller as a hero of her time, and not some flibbigibbert seemed really odd to me. As a teenager I once tried to read a Henry James only to be driven off by the dryness and verbosity. I also was further discouraged by his preface to the book which is written with a rather glorious use of synonyms and a word count that seemed to bode ill. While it's not quite as catchy as Cyndi Lauper's girls just wanna have fun, the dry understated style adds tremendously to the story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    This is a story about an American family, a mother, daughter and son touring Europe. The father is back home working in the States. The focus is upon the differences between European and American social standards, particularly in relation to courtship. The time setting is the latter half of the 1800s. These are the questions we ask. Who is Daisy? What kind of a person is she? Is she just a pretty American flirt? Is she naïve and innocent? Does she realize her behavior is scandalous, or does she This is a story about an American family, a mother, daughter and son touring Europe. The father is back home working in the States. The focus is upon the differences between European and American social standards, particularly in relation to courtship. The time setting is the latter half of the 1800s. These are the questions we ask. Who is Daisy? What kind of a person is she? Is she just a pretty American flirt? Is she naïve and innocent? Does she realize her behavior is scandalous, or does she simply not care? Are American women more brazen than their European counterparts? We follow Daisy from Switzerland to Rome. Her love interests vary. Should she stick with an American? Or maybe an Italian? What miscommunication occurs? To what extent is each individual out after satisfying their own goals? Here‘s a quote voicing the thoughts of Daisy’s American suitor. It is pertinent both to him and to us. “He was angry at finding himself reduced to chopping logic about the young lady (Daisy). He was vexed at his want of instinctive certitude as to how far her eccentricities were generic, national and how far they were personal.” We are never told what Daisy is thinking. We have only access to the thoughts of her suitors and the individuals observing her behavior. We search to understand her motives and her wishes. We pay close attention to what she says in conversations, but we never know if what she says is true. Only at the very end are we given a reliable clue—she sends a message to the American suitor. This technique which James employs is what I like about the book. You are kept thinking. James makes very clear that a woman’s prospect of an advantageous marriage depends on her social standing and her looks. This is hammered in over and over again. The repetitive focus upon women’s beauty, with not a word concerning the merit of intelligence, came to annoy me. James pushes his point too far. It becomes exaggerated and overdone. I am not in love with James’ wordy prose. The ending isn’t bad. I find it realistic. I’m giving the book two stars. It’s OK, but not a book I really enjoyed. When selecting the audiobook for this title there are several narrators to choose between. Do not choose the one read by Penelope Rawlins, as I did. While I have very much liked her narration of other audiobooks, this was a huge disappointment. She makes Daisy sound like a five-year-old! She uses different intonations for each character, and there are a wide range of characters. Males are better performed than females. It would have been better had she simply read the lines without theatrics. To appreciate James’ lines, you must be able to separate what comes through your ears from what is written in the text. Not all characters are poorly intoned, but the most essential one, Daisy, is. I have given the narration one star—it is that bad! ******************* *The Turn of the Screw 4 stars *Washington Square 3 stars *The Portrait of a Lady 3 stars *The Aspern Papers 3 stars *Daisy Miller 2 stars *The Golden Bowl TBR

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