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Roderick Hudson is a novel by Henry James. Originally published in 1875 as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly, it is a bildungsroman that traces the development of the title character, a sculptor. Rowland Mallet, a wealthy Bostonian bachelor and art connoisseur, visits his cousin Cecilia in Northampton, Massachusetts, before leaving for Europe. There he sees a Grecian figure he thinks is a remarkable work of art. Cecilia introduces him to the local sculptor, Roderick Hudson, a young law student who sculpts in his spare time. Mallet-who loves art but is without artistic talent himself-sees an opportunity to contribute: he offers to advance Roderick a sum of money against future works which will allow Roderick to join him in moving to Italy for two years. Mallet believes that in Rome, Roderick will be exposed to the kind of artistic influences which will allow his natural talent to fully mature. Roderick is galvanized by the offer, but he fears his highly protective mother's disapproval and urges Mallet to meet with and reassure her. Mallet does so, eventually overcoming the woman's doubts. At the meeting, Mallet is also introduced to Mary Garland, a distant poor cousin of the Hudsons who has been living with them as a companion to Mrs. Hudson. Mallet finds himself unexpectedly attracted to the young woman-to her simplicity, her lack of affectation, her honesty. During a farewell picnic attended by many of the Hudsons' friends and family, Mallet realizes he has fallen in love for the first time in his life. But, because of his natural reserve and imminent departure for two years, he fails to declare his feelings, yet still harbors hopes that something may yet come of the relationship. That hope is crushed when, on the voyage across the Atlantic, Roderick reveals that just before leaving he asked Miss Garland to marry him and she accepted. ..".You came and put me into such ridiculous good-humor," Roderick tells Mallet, "that I felt an extraordinary desire to tell some woman that I adored her." Mallet listens to all this with the feeling that fortune has played an elaborately-devised trick on him; that just as he had finally found love, it had been stolen away because of his own act of generosity. After a rough start in Rome, Roderick begins to flourish in the arts community, building a reputation as an original talent and a charming, if ill-mannered, character. Meanwhile, Mallet attempts to suppress his feelings for Mary Garland by cultivating a relationship with Augusta Blanchard, another expatriate American artist living in Italy. When Roderick decides to visit Switzerland or Germany, Mallet travels with him part way before going on to visit friends in England. There Mallet writes to Mrs Hudson to inform her of the situation. She replies saying she is pleased the situation has gone so well. However, when Rowland finally hears from Roderick, he begs him for money to cover the debts he incurred while gambling at Baden-Baden.
    Publication DateDecember 4, 2016
    Primary CategoryFamily & Relationships/Marriage & Long Term Relationships

    Roderick Hudson

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