Roderick Hudson

Roderick Hudson

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Roderick Hudson

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Roderick Hudson is a novel by Henry James. Originally published in 1875 as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly, it is a bildungsroman that traces the development of the title character, a sculptor.

Plot summary

Rowland Mallet, a wealthy Bostonian bachelor and art connoisseur, visits his cousin Cecilia in Northampton, Mass. before leaving for Europe. There he sees a Grecian figure he thinks a remarkable work of art. Cecilia introduces him to the local sculptor, Roderick Hudson, a young law student who sculpts in his spare time. Mallet—who loves art but is without artistic talent himself—sees an opportunity to contribute: he offers to advance Roderick a sum of money against future works which will allow Roderick to join him in moving to Italy for two years. In Rome Mallet believes Roderick will be exposed to the kind of artistic influences which will allow his natural talent to fully mature. Roderick is galvanized by the offer, but he fears his highly protective mother's disapproval and urges Mallet to meet with and reassure her. Mallet does so, eventually overcoming the woman's doubts. At the meeting, Mallet is also introduced to Mary Garland, a distant poor cousin of the Hudsons who has been living with them as a companion to Mrs. Hudson. Mallet finds himself unexpectedly attracted to the young woman—to her simplicity,...
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