The Princes Casamassima by Henry James

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Princess Casamassima was published in 1886, a year that saw riots of the unemployed in London. It is a political novel in which anarchists and terrorists conspire within a fin de siècle world of opulence and glamour. The action ranges from palaces to slums, from London to Paris to Venice and back again. The novel’s hero, Hyacinth Robinson, is torn between his loyalty to revolutionary causes—for which he is about to commit an act of violence that may cost him his life—and his taste for the artistic side of aristocratic culture, represented in part by the beautiful, wealthy, compassionate, and yet deceptive Princess of the title. Possibly to save Hyacinth, she becomes romantically involved with his fellow conspirator Paul Muniment, a calculating political operative, idealistic and treacherous by turns. Assassination plots, sexual betrayals, murder, suicide, and the fierce play of conflicting loyalties—all these bring into play an intricate abundance of attendant figures, like the rakish Captain Sholto and the appealing but faithless Millicent Henning.

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991. 596 pp. 
Hardcover. Good++. Blank free endpaper removed. Magic marker line on title page and top fore edge.