American-born writer Henry James (1843–1916) authored 20 novels, 112 stories, 12 plays, and a number of literary criticisms.
James was born in New York City into a wealthy family. In his youth, James traveled back and forth between Europe and America. He studied with tutors in Geneva, London, Paris, Bologna, and Bonn. At the age of nineteen, he briefly attended Harvard Law School, but he was more interested in literature than law. James published his first short story, "A Tragedy of Errors," two years later and then devoted himself entirely to literature. In the late 1860s and early 1870s, he was a contributor to the Nation and Atlantic Monthly. His first novel, Watch and Ward, first appeared serially in the Atlantic.
After living in Paris, where he was a contributor to the New York Tribune, James moved to England. During his first years in Europe, James wrote novels that portrayed Americans living abroad. Between 1906 and 1910, he revised many of his tales and novels for the so-called New York edition of his complete works. Between 1913 and 1917, his three-volume autobiography—A Small Boy and Others, Notes of a Son and Brother, and The Middle Years (released posthumously)—was published. His last two novels, The Ivory Tower and The Sense of the Past, were left unfinished at his death.
Among James's masterpieces are Daisy Miller, The Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, and The Wings of the Dove. In addition, James considered his 1903 work The Ambassadors his most "perfect" work of art.