Sign In | Register
THE AWKWARD AGE by  Henry James - First Edition - 1899 - from Sumner & Stillman and


by James, Henry

Condition: See description

1899. London: William Heinemann, 1899. 2 pp undated ads. Original blind-stamped blue cloth. First Edition of this novel, written almost entirely in dialogue, of Nanda Brookenham's "awkward age" of transition away from her mother's marriage-marketing and toward taking charge of her own life. This appears to have been a colonial copy that was transferred back for domestic use (according to E&L, 475 copies were so transferred): the book is in the second binding state (with nine tulip buds rather than four irises on the front cover), is printed on smooth wove paper, and has a title page that is printed all in black and is dated in Arabic numbers -- all aspects denoting colonial copies. The half-title, which would have identified this as a copy meant for the colonies, was excised by the publisher when it was re-designated for domestic use; most such copies do not have the final ad leaf either, but this one does. On the front cover, "THE AWKWARD AGE" measures 2-7/8" across (shorter than on all three copies cited by Supino); on the spine, "AWKWARD AGE" (all in one line) is in a much narrower font than the other four lines of print. This is a near-fine copy, slightly darkened on the spine and with very minor rubbing at the extremities. See Supino 53.3.0 + 53.4.0 + 53.5.0 (all variations of colonial sheets redirected to the domestic market, none of them quite the same as this); Edel & Laurence A53a.

Making her debut in London society, Nanda Brookenham is being groomed for the marriage market. Thrust suddenly into the superficial and immoral circle that surrounds her mother, the innocent but independent-minded young woman even finds herself in competition with Mrs Brookenham for the affection of the man she admires. Only an elderly bachelor, Mr Longdon, is immune to this world of greed and scheming, and determines to rescue Nanda from its corrupting influences out of loyalty to the deep love he once felt for her grandmother. In The Awkward Age (1899), Henry James explores the English character, and the clash between old and new money with a light and subtly ironic touch to create a devastating critique of society and its machinations.


Review this book (Want a chance to win $50? Log-in or create an account first!) (You'll be automatically entered for a chance to win $50!)

Help & frequently asked questions


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:
Abrasion or wear to the surface. Usually used in reference to a book's boards or dust-jacket.
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]
title page
A page at the front of a book which may contain the title of the book, any subtitles, the authors, contributors, editors, the...[more]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...[more]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...[more]


$12.75 shipping to USA

More shipping options >

Storing a Book Collection

How to properly store your collection

Don't let a few small mistakes erode the value of your growing book collection. Review these tips to help preserve the beauty of your books!

Collecting Proofs

Collecting proofs, galleys, and advance reviews

Devoted collectors of rare books will love finding proofs, galleys, and advance review copies of their favorite pieces of literature. Find rare proofs and advance reading copies in the Rare Book Room.