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Extended Audio Sample Washington Square, by Henry James Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.17 out of 54.17 out of 54.17 out of 54.17 out of 54.17 out of 5 4.17 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henry James Narrator: Lloyd James Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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On New York City’s Washington Square lives Catherine Sloper, a shy and plain young woman who is tyrannized by her wealthy, overbearing father. When young Morris Townsend begins to court her, Dr. Sloper distrusts his motives, believing that the young man could not possibly love his daughter. Both lovers are obstinate in their affections; but when Dr. Sloper threatens to disinherit Catherine, Townsend disappears, leaving Catherine to humiliation, heartache, and lonely spinsterhood. Years later, after her father’s death, Townsend returns, and Catherine must make up her own mind about his intentions.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Henry James is as solitary in the history of the novel as Shakespeare is in the history of poetry.”

    Graham Greene

  • “Lloyd James gives an excellent reading. His voice is very pleasant and his rendering of the text is subtle and well paced.”


  • “Every line, every paragraph, every chapter [of Washington Square] is a fleet-footed light brigade, an engine of irony.” 

    Cynthia Ozick, American-Jewish short story writer, novelist, and essayist

  • “Everybody likes Washington Square, even the denigrators of Henry James.”

    Donald Hall

  • “James wrote Washington Square in 1881, six years after his permanent departure from America for Europe. It’s simple on the surface, complex and devastating below: a tale of quiet betrayals and the death of the heart.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Washington Square, a tale of a young woman who is caught between her domineering father and her fortune-hunting suitor, is sensitively read by [Lloyd] James, who offers a compassionate interpretation of the protagonist’s plight.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Katsumi | 2/19/2014

    " Washinton Square is an engaging story in the fact that it fixes your attention. I was very interested to find out what would become of Catherine Sloper. She is an innocent heroine pursued by a selfish man(Morris Townsend)for her fortune she stands to inherit. Her father is right in his assumption that Morris is a fortunehunter and does all in his power to stop a marriage from taking place. However, his motives are not purely to keep his daughter from unhappiness. They are mainly focused on vanquishing his foe. His daughter discovers that her father cares very little for her and her feelings, and this causes as much pain as realizing that her intended wants only her money. I do not read fiction to view reality, but to escape it. Therefore, I was not satisfied with the ending. I would have liked the ending more if Catherine had realized the true happiness of escaping such an unhappy existence of being married to someone she couldn't respect or trust. Instead she hangs onto her love for Morris even after discovering what he truly is. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Ashley | 2/12/2014

    " I read this book for English and while I did not really have to finish it to do my assignment, I thought that I owed it to the book to finish it out and see if it improved. I was really not impressed. I was not a fan of the language, which I felt was very round about and not very forward. I was also not a fan of the characters. Not one of them drew me in and made me want to root for them. The Doctor was cold, Catherine was too shy, Morris too cocky, and the aunt was just too flamboyant... I'm not sure if this book was written like this as a product of the times, or if this was just the authors personal style. Regardless, I will not be keeping this one in my collection after this semester. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Barbara | 2/10/2014

    " No more than a sketch of characters and plot that could have been much more involving. Needs more "Dickens" to punch up characters, especially Aunt Penniman. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kiady | 1/24/2014

    " Washington Square is the story of Catherine Sloper, a naive and young woman who's never had happiness in her life and is always trying to live up to everybody's but mostly her father's expectations.Her father,Dr Sloper has always found her dull and unattractive thus never finds love in his heart for her. When she grows up, he tries to mold her into a social lady but fails to do so because of Catherine's lack of ability to hold decent conversations and act like a normal lady.Things get tense when a young man, Morris Townsend comes in the picture and uses his charm to make Catherine fall in love with him. He intends to marry her and in this way obtain her wealth. Dr Sloper realizes his intends almost inmediatly and prohibits Catherine from seeing or marrying him, saying if she did he would dishenrit her but Catherine as the first act of rebellion against her father, goes to see him. When she explains Morris her father would disinherit her, leaving her with only her mother's wealth, he turns down his marriage offer and gets out of town. Later on in the story, Catherine's father dies, leaving all of his money to Catherine. Morris finds out about this and returns to try to charm Catherine again. However, when he goes to her house he does not find the same Catherine he had left and fails to accomplish his goal. This a sad story though Henry James gives a nice lesson about trying to live up to people's expectations and about expecting too much from people "

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