Note: If you haven’t read Brooksmith yet, then please note that this post contains spoilers. *** The first Henry James tale I’ve ever read was. Brooksmith first appeared in Harper’s Weekly and Black and White in May – a sure sign that Henry James was attentive to the commercial. Henry James is one of those authors I’ve heard plenty about but never attempted (although Wings of the Dove is on my TBR). As I’ve done in.

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I noted further, strangely enough, that it would probably be a questionable pleasure for him to see me again: A study of the short fictionNew York: You have others, sir, I daresay — not that I would have you understand me to speak of them as in any way tantamount.

A Hyper-Concordance to the Works Japanese-based online research tool that locates the use of any word or phrase in context. Brooksmih was indeed an education, but to what was this sensitive young man of thirty-five, of the servile class, being educated? Open Preview See a Problem? Offord can only love him through the bars of class, as a master to a servant. Mike rated it liked it Feb 20, Offord would provide for him, but WHAT would he provide?

Then I became conscious that Mr. Views Read Edit View history.

This was written to a certain extent in his appearance; in his spare brisk little person, in his cloistered white face and extraordinarily polished hair, which told of responsibility, looked as if it were kept up to the same high standard as the plate; in his small clear anxious eyes, even in the permitted, though not exactly encouraged, tuft on his chin.


I interposed with a few words to the effect of how well aware I was that wherever he should go, whatever he should do, he would miss our old friend terribly — miss him even more than I should, having been with him so much more.

He had the solemnity of a person winding up, under depressing circumstances, a long-established and celebrated business; he was a kind of social executor or liquidator.

Offord came down again, but the spell was broken, the great sign being that the conversation was for the first time not directed. I must add that he never showed a symptom of what I may call sordid solicitude — anxiety on his own account. He shuffled these episodes out of sight — I saw he had no wish to discuss them.

The note had a P. Oliver Offord, but whenever we chance to meet I think we are conscious of a certain esoteric respect for each other. The explanation is usually that our women have not the skill to cultivate it — the art to direct through a smiling land, between suggestive shores, a sinuous stream of talk.

Could any be higher?

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. He assured me he was really getting better, and his mother remarked that he would come round if he could only get his spirits up. But being well-brought-up can create a tendency to be too nice to my characters, too forgiving.

Tuesday Reading Room – Brooksmith by Henry James – Story A Day

Brooksmith was responsible for the preservation of the atmosphere in a retired diplomat’s salon where the guests all male enjoyed a high level of intellectual brooismith with the diplomat and each other.


For a long time I had no occasion to make henyr of the information: Offord passed away like any inferior person — was relegated to eternal stillness after the manner of a butler above-stairs? My offer could only be to help him to find another place, and yet there was an indelicacy, as it were, in taking for granted that his thoughts would immediately be fixed on another.

In plain terms a certain embarrassment, a sensible awkwardness when they thought of it, attached to the idea of using him as a menial: Oh we went perpetually, and vy was not our fault if he was not overwhelmed with this particular honour. I felt indeed each time as if I were attending the last coucher of some social sovereign.

Tuesday Reading Room – Brooksmith by Henry James

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Brooksmith was regarded by the narrator as “the artist” who insured that the company at each gathering was the optimum broomsmith and mix of personalities to provide the highest level of conversation possible. He seemed to wish to take counsel with me about it, to feel responsible for its going on in some form or other. They required no depth of attention — they were all referable to usual irredeemable inevitable types. Where would the speech of his betters have been if proper service had been a manifestation of sound?

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