‘Beautiful’ in the Ambassadors

Fresh from looking into ‘beautiful’ in The Golden Bowl the word remained in mind while I read The Ambassadors, where I found some interesting usages of it –and sometimes similarly paired with ‘wonderful’– though by no means so profuse as I had found in the former volume.

A similarity I did note between the two books was how each hung on a somewhat strained plot device, a very unlikely event; in each book James seems well aware himself of how strained the plot point he employs must seem, though he doesn’t apologize; in each case it is somewhat ambiguous if James leans on this device out of necessity, or design. (In The Golden Bowl, it is Maggie happening into the same curiosities shop as the Prince and Charlotte, and the store owner happening to recall the Prince and Charlotte; in The Ambassadors, it is how Strether chances upon the same country inn that Chad and Marie are staying at.)

*
well, actually more of ‘beautiful’ here than I thought, as I now see searching via computer the Gutenberg version


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