A Chance Meeting : Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists, 1854-1967
Rachel CohenISBN: 1400061644;
Book Description“They met in ordinary ways,” writes Rachel Cohen in her introduction, “a careful arrangement after long admiration, a friend’s casual introduction, or because they both just happened to be standing near the drinks.. . . They talked to each other for a few hours or for forty years, and later it seemed to them impossible that they could have missed each other.” Each chapter of this inventive consideration of American culture evokes an actual meeting between two historical figures. In 1854, Henry James, as a boy, goes with his father to have a daguerreotype made by Mathew Brady and is captured in a moment of self-consciousness about being American. Brady returns to photograph Walt Whitman and, later, at City Point in the midst of the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant. Meanwhile, Henry James begins a lasting friendship with William Dean Howells, and also meets Sarah Orne Jewett, who in turn is a mentor to Willa Cather. Mark Twain publishes...
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