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The Wings of the Dove. by  Henry James - First Edition - 1902 - from Raptis Rare Books (SKU: 92342)

The Wings of the Dove.

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The Wings of the Dove.

by James, Henry

  • Used
  • hardcover
  • First
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About This Item

London: Westminster and Archibald Constable & Co, 1902. First edition of Henry James' landmark novel. Octavo, original cloth. In near fine condition with the spine gilt still bright, light foxing, bookplates. Uncommon in this condition.


Set in turn-of-the-century London, Henry James’ The Wings of the Dove tells the story of Mildred “Milly” Theale, an orphaned American heiress, and the mixed motives of those around her, namely Kate Croy. Kate is a scheming young woman in love with Merton Densher, a man too poor to offer her a “fashionable marriage.” Thus, she conspires to push Merton towards Milly, who has an unnamed fatal illness, with the hope of eventually enhancing her lover’s financial status. Like much of James’ earlier works, The Wings of the Dove involves the universal themes of selfishness, greed, conspiracy, love, and betrayal. It also addresses the Victorian tradition and pitches American innocence against European cunning. However, the novel, written later in the author’s life, deals with deeper psychological aspects than his earlier works. While it does include social commentary, the central conflict of the novel regards moral character as opposed to cultural background. There have been many adaptations of The Wings of the Dove. Perhaps most notable is director Iain Softley’s 1997 film version starring Alison Elliott as Milly Theale, Helena Bonham Carter as Kate Croy, and Linus Roache as Merton Densher. The film was a box office hit that won several prizes and award nominations, including Bonham Carter’s Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. The Wings of the Dove is ranked 26th on Modern Library's list of the “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century. 

Read more: Identifying first editions of The Wings of the Dove.


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book dealer
Raptis Rare Books US (US)
Bookseller’s Inventory #
The Wings of the Dove.
James, Henry
Book condition
second hand
Westminster and Archibald Constable & Co
Place of Publication
Date Published
Henry James First Edition, The Wings of Dove First Edition
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Raptis Rare Books

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About the Seller

Raptis Rare Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since 2012
Palm Beach, Florida
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About Raptis Rare Books

Founded by Matthew and Adrienne Raptis, Raptis Rare Books is an antiquarian book firm that specializes in literature, children's books, economics, photo books, signed and inscribed books, and landmark books in all fields. Our business model is simple: we strive to handle books that are in exceptional condition and to provide exceptional customer service. We are proud members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and exhibit at major book fairs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, as well as other regional fairs.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in... [more]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched... [more]
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing... [more]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in... [more]
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf.... [more]
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the... [more]

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