Spring 1950 • Vol. XII No. 2 Book ReviewsApril 1, 1950 |

The Stage as Ordeal

The Complete Plays of Henry James edited by Leon Edel. Lippincott. $10.00   No first survey of this massive volume of Henry James's complete plays can yield more than faint realization of the magnitude of the editorial task that, begun in 1929, stretched through twenty years. And only continued use of the book for interest and reference can give Leon Edel's editorial work on the plays and the research embodied in the full notes accompanying them their full meed of appreciation. It would be worth any reader's while—this is a really serious suggestion—to read the final note, "A Note on the Texts," before he reads the Foreword. If he does this, he will read the Foreword, the long Introductory Essay and the Editor's Foreword to each play with a fuller understanding of what he has here, not only the long awaited plays themselves but evidence of the conscientious research, the scholarly judgment and the literary integrity that has gone into this really monumental compilation.

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