The Forum: Journal of History


In this essay, I argue that although the nineteenth-century writer Henry James disliked the popular format of serial publication, it actually served an unacknowledged purpose in his works: breaking up his novels into manageable chunks. This allowed readers a greater appreciation of his fresh stylistic ability and intricate descriptions. I first introduce the current scholarship on Henry James as well as serialization. Then, I provide context regarding this publication format and biographical details of the writer Henry James, and look at his literary importance. Next, I focus on one specific work called The American, evaluating the author’s motivations and viewpoint during the publication process. Finally, I turn to reviews of the novel in newspapers and magazines to ascertain the public reaction to and impression of this work specifically, as well as of his style in general.