Books: Who Owns Henry James?

THE CONQUEST OF LONDON (465 pp.) and THE MIDDLE YEARS (408 pp.), Vols. II & III of HENRY JAMES—Leon Edel-—Lippincoft ($ 17).

Boswell started it all. Ever since the canny Scot earned himself a niche in history by taking over Dr. Johnson, scholars have been trying to identify themselves with one literary personality big enough to make their reputations. The best and easiest way to own a famous figure is to find or obtain title to his private papers and write the definitive biography. With authority (and possession) thus established, it is relatively easy...

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