The American Author:Henry James Leon Edel write of this novel: "The American is a novel rich in the way in which it draws archetypal myths and mimetic modes. Behind its melodrama and its simple romance is the history of man's dream of better worlds, travel to strange lands, and marriage to high and noble ladies. At the same time the book reveals a deep affection for America... more »n innocence and a deep awareness that such innocence carries with it a fund of ignorance. Its novelty lay in its 'international' character. It has been spoken of as the first truly 'international' novel . . . . For the first time, with high humor, James here addresses himself to his major theme: it was his great discovery for the American novel . . .
" . . . .a masterpiece of American romanticism in which James shows us his profound grasp of what he was ultimately to call 'the Americano-European legend.'"