Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do (28 cents)

One of the advantages to Henry James’ Daisy Miller is that it is less than 100 pages long.  Another is that it is a delight throughout.

Daisy Miller, young American ingenue, traveling with her mother through Switzerland and Italy.  From a wealthy industrial Schenectady family, they are more nouveau riche than high society.

Daisy is typically American, naive, open, and oblivious to formal social norms.  And young American expat Winterbourne is smitten.  But he knows the ways of society, so cannot be too forward and comes across as stiff.  Ms. Miller takes up with a handsome Italian, to the shock of all the Americans, and even her own mother is afraid that she has already become engaged.

The ending is tragic.  The prose is terrific.  The descriptions of the European locales are very evocative, showing how much things have changed in the last 100+ years.


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