Teacher Guide

The American Lesson Plan

Introduction to The American

Henry James began writing The American, his third novel, while living in Paris during the winter of 1875-1876. The novel was first published as twelve serialized installments in The Atlantic Monthly between June 1876 and May 1877, when it was published as a complete edition. James reworked the text regularly after its initial 1877 publication; he made the most significant revisions in 1907 for the twenty-six-volume "New York Edition” collection of his major works. Nevertheless, most modern editions remain faithful to the original version. The subject of Americans navigating life in Europe was one James — himself a frequent traveler in Europe — would also explore in his later works, such...

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