The Altar Of The Dead pdf Book By Henry James

The Altar Of The Dead Book
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The Altar Of The Dead pdf

“The Altar of the Dead” is a short story by Henry James, first published in his collection Terminations in 1895. A fable of literally life and death significance, the story explores how the protagonist tries to keep the remembrance of his dead friends, to save them from being forgotten entirely in the rush of everyday events. He meets a woman who shares his ideals, only to find that the past places what seems to be an impassable barrier between them. Although James was not religious in any conventional sense, the story shows a deep spirituality in its treatment of mortality and the transcendent power of unselfish love.

The Altar Of The Dead Summary

Aging George Stransom holds sacred the memory of the great love of his life, Mary Antrim, who died before they could be married. One day Stransom happens to read of the death of Acton Hague, a former friend who had done him a terrible harm. Stransom starts to dwell on the many friends and acquaintances he is now losing to death. He begins to light candles at a side altar in a Catholic church, one for each of his Dead, except Hague. Later he notices a woman who regularly appears at the church and sits before his altar. He intuitively understands that she too honors her Dead, and they very gradually become friends. However, Stransom later discovers that her Dead number only one: Acton Hague. Hague had wronged her too, but she has forgiven him. When his friend realizes Stransom’s feelings about Hague, she declares that she can no longer honor Hague at Stransom’s altar. Stransom cannot bring himself to resolve the issue by forgiving Hague and adding a candle for him. This disagreement drives the two friends apart. Stransom’s friend ceases visiting the altar, and Stransom himself can find no peace there.

Details The Altar Of The Dead Book pdf Book

Name Of the Novel: The Altar Of The Dead Book
Author: Henry James
Country: United Kingdom, United States
Language: English
Genre: Short story
Publisher: William Heinemann, London
Harper & Brothers, New York City
Publication date: May 15, 1895
Media type: Print
Published as part of the short story collection Terminations
Book Type: pdf / ePub

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