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Summary

On New York City's Washington Square lives Catherine Sloper, a shy and plain-looking young woman who is tyrannized by her wealthy, overbearing father. When young Morris Townsend begins to court her, Dr. Sloper, distrusting his motives, threatens to disinherit Catherine.

In accordance with her father's suspicions, young Townsend disappears, leaving Catherine to humiliation, heartache, and lonely spinsterhood. Years later, after her father's death, Townsend returns, and Catherine must make up her own mind about his intentions.

This 1881 novel was adapted into the popular movie The Heiress.

(P)1999 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic reviews

"Washington Square is a perfectly balanced novel...a work of surpassing refinement and interest." (Elizabeth Hardwick)
"It's James at the top of his form." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Washington Square (Blackstone Audio Edition)

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Great listen to a classic

Well written and extremely well narrated. A real classic and a good listen. Highly recommended. Gave it 5 stars

2 people found this helpful

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impeccable reading<br />

is difficult to imagine a better reading. Lloyd James reads quite slowly with slight pauses to allow the listener to take in the meaning. Even though this is one of Henry James' more straightforward works, it is ideal to have these half seconds to absorb the prose. only negative is that this was a cassette recording, and we get the end of side or tape announcements. Audible needs to sort out these issues.

2 people found this helpful

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A Pearl

Washington Square is an almost perfect novel. The reader/listener shares the anguish of the long-suffering heroine who is denied her choice of marriage partner through her father's intransigence and her obedience to his will. Her suitor is a charlatan and her father is motivated by a desire to protect his daughter, and the fortune she will inherit after his death. However, he is merciless and cold and the reader/listener is, in the end, on Catherine's side. The portion of the novel leading up to Morris Townsend's departure when he learns that Catherine has been disinherited is, in my view, better than what follows. I really enjoyed the narration. It is a personal prejudice, but I think Henry James' works are best read in a man's voice, and definitely by an American. Lloyd James does an excellent job here.

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  • Celia
  • 14-04-08

Fabulous

This book's characters just jump out of the narration, it's absolutely wonderful. James' understanding of a certain female character is uncanny. I adored this book and was so sorry when it ended!

6 people found this helpful

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  • christine
  • 05-04-16

Accessible James Beautifully Read

Less internal than some Henry James, memorable (if mostly unlovable) characters, sad ending, great narration.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Laura
  • 04-06-08

A Light Classic

If you enjoy well written 19th century classic literature, this is a great choice. It's pretty light, and not quite as intriguing as The Portrait of a Lady, but it still keeps you interested. My only complaint is the narrator's pacing- he reads well, but leaves interminable pauses between most of his sentences. It might be worthwhile to listen to a sample before buying it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Teresa
  • 13-11-20

Great Listen!!!!

Loved the movie (The Heiress) with Olivia de Haviland 1948. That dramatic sceneand now the book!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • CDTX
  • 17-02-20

not my favorite narrator

Narrator pauses too long between every single sentence, which wasn't helped by increasing the speed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • myz
  • 03-03-17

Classic!

I'm of two minds when it comes to this book. On the one hand, the writing and James' observations are exquisitely on point, and he is able to create such a fleshed out story with so little story-line. On the other, I disliked all the characters. I did sympathize with Catherine, and in a way, even with Morris, but I did not connect to them. I've found this to be the case with other books by Henry James as well as Edith Wharton. They are such masters of language, but for me, they are not as acutely talented in drawing out characters with whom I have an affinity. I never perceived great passion or chemistry between any of the characters, so the "love story" did not strike me as terribly authentic or believable. That being said, I did strangely enjoy it. After reading far too much news in recent months, and quite a number or creepy thrillers, I felt a need for beautiful language, and eloquence in a world where some days it seems there is decidedly too little of either. I wasn't looking for a book to break my heart or fully engage all my emotions. I read this because I trust James to provide something of linguistic beauty, and in that respect, I was quite satisfied.

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  • HappyLady
  • 07-01-16

Excellent audio presentation of Henry James' classic

Easy to listen to and thoroughly enjoyable the presentation narrated by Lloyd James. Wished that Lloyd James had done some of the other Henry James audio versions.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Walter A.
  • 17-05-21

Poor narration

I gave up listening to this book and switched to reading it. Much better. The narration was poor.

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  • Anyelly H
  • 30-03-21

Overall enjoyed it

It was a good book and narrated nicely. I listened to it in 1.5x and it kept me hooked.

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  • dsinsg
  • 06-03-21

Surprise

This is the first time that I have found the movie better than the book. But then we are talking about a movie with Oivia de Havillian and Montgomery Cliff!!