[In the movie, they instead visit Mark's mansion, and he moves on Kate.]. Kate has inherited a small income from her mother, which her father wants to share in rather than seeing it shared with her impoverished widowed sister, Mrs. Marian Croy Condrip (who has four children). Densher: “ ‘As we were.’” But Kate turns away, as Milly has turned away in dying: “ ‘We shall never be again as we were.’ ” In the film, when Kate asks for Merton’s word of honor, he doesn’t answer, the scene fades out, and we are suddenly back in Venice. Maud is warming to Milly and invites her to come and stay with them at Lancaster Gate. When Your Adult Child's Room Becomes A Workroom. Desperate to see Kate, Merton crashes a party that she and Milly are attending, and Milly is attracted to him. Professor C. continues his seminar series, in this case with Henry James,and “The Wings of the Dove.” Reading back through all my father’s posts here, (click on “(Professor C. in the Topics sidebar) I think I find threads about language, reading now vs. then, and the changing choices for identity as society has loosened over the last 100 years. The movie isn’t perfect, nothing is: the rain that falls again and again is middling symbolism and – as a New York Times reviewer noticed – it looks phony; sometimes you can see shadows as the rain pours down. I loved the film and enjoyed this post. I usually run from modern literary scholarship as it always seems so intent on chasing away the beauty. I called the film a one-off triumph. Susan senses a premonition of doom in Milly. He suspects but has not confirmed a diagnosis different from what Milly suspects—we do not learn what it is, though it seems ominous. Milly and friends are now in Venice—she stays in a leased palace, the Palazzo Leporelli, and is guided by Eugenio. …destroyed, like Milly Theale in The Wings of the Dove (1902), who in the end “turns her face to the wall” and dies but in her death brings new vision and new values to … Or you can reach me at my email: skyepeale@yahoo.com. Befriending a fatally ill, rich American woman provides Kate with not only a trip to Venice, but an opportunity to break free of her aunt and her poverty. She is vacationing in Switzerland with her older companion, Mrs. Susan Shepherd Stringham, a widow from Vermont. He was saved from having to deny his love for Kate. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. She announces her plans to go to the Tyrol and Venice in 2 weeks. Two months later Kate comes to Merton's room. | Having Professor C. post here, now retired from Stanford but for decades a tenured professor in the English department, bumps up my intellectual cred to no end:). Kate wants Densher to marry Milly and then, when Milly dies, inherit her money. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. I’ve never read anything by Henry James, except for “the Turn of the Screw” which my Dad recommended to me when I was 13. Kate  persuades her boyfriend, Merton Densher, a journalist, to pretend to be in love first with Kate and then with Milly, while Kate pretends to despise him. Dr. Strett has visited with Susan and given his report. An impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover, befriends an American heiress. Merton and Susan dine at Maud's with Kate and two men. Change ), "Idleness cures all ills." At one point, when it is clear their plot has been uncovered, he says: “We’ve played our dreadful game and we’ve lost. They consider the letter from Milly—Kate concludes Milly has made Merton rich and cruelly tosses the unopened letter into the fire. They make love, Milly astride, the camera watching her full face, deeply in pain. To prove his point, he gives her an ultimatum saying that she can either marry him or get his money, but not both. For 3 days he is left by himself, then Susan comes to his hotel. Shortly after Milly learns of Merton’s and Kate’s motives, she dies, leaving Merton a legacy that he is too guilt-ridden to accept. “The Wings of the Dove represents the pinnacle of James’s prose.”—Louis Auchincloss About the Author Henry James (1843-1916), born in New York City, was the son of noted religious philosopher Henry James, Sr., and brother of eminent psychologist and philosopher William James. It would be easy think that The Wings of The Dove is a fusty sort of book: you know, the kind that ancient Lit professors with halitosis and Earl Gray Tea stains on their sweater vests like to thumb through on a rainy afternoon. ""As we were. Omissions? She asks if he is in love with Milly's memory and suggests he no longer wants any other love. Milly's best friend is Kate, and Kate thinks Milly will do all she can to help her. He heard her out in stillness, watching her face, but not moving. At the end of the novel, Merton puts his foot down and tells Kate that if she wants to marry him, it must because of him and not his money. I don’t remember it at all, except that I thought it was spooky, and thus cool. “Go on; take a break,” my boss used to say. But the film stands out uniquely in the work of Iain Softley and Hossein Amini, the director and the screenwriter, as it does for Linus Roache and the little-known Alison Elliott. When Milly dies, he will inherit the money; then he and Kate will marry. Updates? Mark had been convinced after his first visit to see Milly that Merton truly loved Milly, and this improved Maud's view of Merton. Milly wants to come and visit him there. Merton dislikes his rundown hotel and his frustrating and duplicitous existence. [Marian and her family are omitted in the movie.]. “Go on; take a break,” my boss used to say. The Wings of the Dove is a 1902 novel by Henry James. When Kate learns that Milly is dying, she comes up with a plan to have her cake and eat it too, but all does not go as planned. Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Henry James, The Wings of the Dove | 2 Comments. He goes to see Milly but is turned away at the palace. Milly confides in Kate her plans to see the great physician, Sir Luke Strett, and asks for her silence on this. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Wings-of-the-Dove-novel-by-James, The University of Adelaide - "The Wings of the Dove". When I first read The Wings of the Dove, I was on a Henry James binge. If she refuses, he offers to make it over to her. I enjoy all of Professor C’s posts. In The Wings of the Dove, Henry James provides a rather unique approach to the timeless issues of selfishness, greed, conspiracy, love, and betrayal - universal themes in literature since early Greek theater. Corrections? He offers to marry her immediately "as we were", but as she leaves says, "We shall never be again as we were. He makes plans to go on a journalistic assignment in America. I looked it up on Wikipedia and realized I didn’t really want to read the book. Susan tells him of Milly's withdrawal—she has turned her face to the wall and is dying. Milly explores Maud's attitudes and motives with her. Helena Bonham Carter is a considerable star, as is the wonderful Michael Gambon, who plays Kate’s opium-addicted father. Later, Milly and Kate discuss Maud's intent to unite Mark and Kate. Wikipedia filled in the gaps ans I was quite happy with the movie, though I would have like more scenes with the aunt because I quite like that actress. He insists, nobly, that she give up seeing him and take up the aunt on her offer. It was again adapted as a television play by the BBC in 1965, directed by Rudolph Cartier. GSL, thanks for reading and commenting. Created by Michael C. McGoodwin She invites them to lunch. Quotations are for the most part taken from that work, as Oh, by the way, in this movie Venice beats the clothes – hands down. Kate asks him if he wishes things to go back to the days before they met Milly Theale and tried to get her money. Flash forward toward the end. I loved Washington Square and really liked The Turn of the Screw–though found it somewhat of a challenge. She wants him to come to Milly and to … Kate Croy's (Helena Bonham Carter's) mother was born to wealth and privilege, but she threw it all away to marry Kate's Father (Sir Michael Gambon), a penniless opium addict who admits to having stolen from his wife. My only quibble was the last scene-I was beginning to think they brought Eve Ensler in for a rewrite. Maud remains unaware of Merton's relationship with Kate—Susan has not divulged his secret. Densher, to give him some credit, is not as sociopathic as Kate. This enticing review this has pushed the movie up my queue, just as soon as I finish Season 2 of “Justified.”. © 2020 Shmoop University Inc | All Rights Reserved | Privacy | Legal. Maud is planning to write him—he isn't good enough for Kate in Maud's eyes—but Kate says he must meet with her. She offers to come live with him and take care of him. By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from Shmoop and verify that you are over the age of 13. was very good, In the novel, Kate and he are locked forever in the embrace of an uncertain ending. Merton presses her to marry but she wishes to wait until the time is right. That’s the good part about words, flexible interpretation. The date also hints at modernity; Queen Victoria died in 1901. Merton is unsure and uneasy with this plan of exploitation. But her wealthy widowed aunt, Mrs. Maud Manningham Lowder, has offered a comfortable wealthy existence to her in exchange for her renouncing the company of her father (Kate had lived with her since her mother's death.) For 3 days he is left by himself, then Susan comes to his hotel. And The Wings of the Dove proved to be one of my favorite reading experiences, much to the astonishment of those who couldn’t get through The Turn of the Screw.