When the threat of poverty forces Kate Croy and Merton Densher to reconsider their engagement to one another, Kate becomes determined to find a solution. The answer comes in the form of Milly Theale, a rich, young American woman visiting London as a result of her failing health. With a dramatic plan to exploit Milly’s wealth and her affection for Merton, Kate believes she will achieve all that she has hoped for. The subsequent unexpected and tragic consequences reveal the painful cost of her selfishness and the ultimate struggle for Milly to “achieve, however briefly and brokenly, the sense of having lived.”
Dramatizing the moral shift of the early 1900s, Henry James’s The Wings of the Dove is today recognized as an American literary classic. Published in 1902, the novel has been adapted multiple times for both screen and stage, including the 1997 Academy Award nominated film of the same name. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Wings of the Dove twenty-sixth on its list of the best 100 English-Language novels of the twentieth century.
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