Henry James: At Home and Abroad

One Monday and Four Tuesdays, September 20 and 21, October 5 and 19, November 2, 12:30 p.m. | Rienzi, 1406 Kirby Drive (immediately north of Lazy Lane)

“The only obligation to which we may hold a novel,” Henry James once notably declared, “is that it be interesting.” We will explore five of the most “interesting” of James’s novels from the three major phases of his literary career. Our speaker is Caroline Levander, associate professor of English at Rice University and author of a number of articles on Henry James. The seminar will focus on James’s lifelong fascination with Europe and will consider how James’s most famous heroines, as well as their creator, confront the world abroad as part of what James described as the “complex fate of being American.”

On Monday, September 20, we will enjoy a private tour of Rienzi, a European-style villa built for Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III and now the European decorative arts center of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Thereafter we will meet every other Tuesday in Rienzi’s elegant ballroom and discuss James’s books in the following order:

Monday, September 20: Tour of Rienzi
Tuesday, September 21: The Bostonians
Tuesday, October 5: The Portrait of a Lady
Tuesday, October 19: The Turn of the Screw and What Maisie Knew
Tuesday, November 2: The Golden Bowl



Upcoming is Spring 2018! 

West Side Story: Leonard Bernstein at 100
Two Wednesdays, March 21 and 28, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Private residence directions to subscribers
A few seats available


Farming Wonders in Richmond, Texas
Saturday, March 24
Details to subscribers
A few seats available


What's on Lisa Falkenberg's Mind
Tuesday, March 27, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Drive, 77004


Gorbachev: His Life and Times
Monday, April 16, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | The Junior League, 1811 Briar Oaks Ln, 77027
Co-sponsored with World Affairs Council of Houston


Behind the Pages: A Conversation with William Middleton 
Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8:00 P.M.


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.