Daisy Miller

Tracking Changes in Daisy Miller

There are hundreds of differences between the 1878 edition of Daisy Miller and its 1909 / New York edition. While many of the changes are slight modifications to the placement of words or changes of some terms to an American English spelling, some of the changes vastly alter the connotations of certain scenes and, in fact, the story itself. While the 1879 version and the 1909 version of Daisy Miller are the same book, they are quite different in some key aspects. In the second version, James actually seems to make the book more critical of American tourists by degrading their quality of speech and having the Europeanized Americans more harshly criticize their visiting countrymen. James also builds Winterbourne up in comparison to the other characters by slightly modifying the narrator's descriptions of Winterbourne. The overall effect of the changes works to undermine the innocence of Daisy and build a stronger case for the Europeanized Americans' condemnation of the Millers.

James also adjusts the way in which the narrator refers to Daisy in the 1909 edition. He replaces the often-used term "young girl" (1878) with "charming creature" (1909). The description of Daisy as a "young girl" is...

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