This page is a ‘work in progress’ to list a few differences between first-book editions of some of Henry James’s novels and the revised texts, mostly those of the New York edition (1907–1909). It acts as a companion to my checklist of editions of the novels, by making it relatively simple for you to establish with a fair degree of confidence the version of any edition you happen to have to hand, and is parallel to my guide to variants in the tales (part of the index of tales in collections).

Please note the following points :

Adrian Dover

alphabetical index
The ambassadors The portrait of a lady The tragic muse
The American The Princess Casamassima Watch and ward
The awkward age The Reverberator What Maisie knew
The golden bowl Roderick Hudson The wings of the dove
In the cage The spoils of Poynton
variants checklist
Watch and ward
(mag. 1871-08/P05M,   US 1878-05)
sources : comparison of the Making of America copy of the original Atlantic monthly (1871) appearance with the Grove Press (1979) edition of the 1878 text
ch. s. mag. 1871-08/P05M US 1878-05
1 1 1 …but as the hour for action approached he felt his ardor rapidly ebbing away. …but as the hour for action approached he felt his ardor rapidly ebbing.
1 1 6 …having but partly succeeded in giving himself the tournure of an impassioned suitor. …having but partly succeeded in giving himself the figure of an impassioned suitor.
11 (last) last 2–6 …to say, opening and shutting her fan, “The fact is, Nora is under a very peculiar obligation to me.” Another of Mrs. Keith’s sayings may perhaps be appositely retailed, – her answer, one evening, to an inquiry as to Roger’s age: “Twenty-five – seconde jeunesse.” Hubert Lawrence, on the other hand, has already begun to pass for an elderly man. Mrs. Hubert, however, preserves the balance. She is wonderfully fresh, and, with time, has grown stout, like her mother, though she has nothing of the jaded look of that excellent lady.   [end of novel] …to say, opening and shutting her fan, “The fact is, Nora is under a very peculiar obligation to me.”   [end of novel]
Roderick Hudson
(mag. 1875-01/P12M,   US 1875-11,   UK 3v 1879-06,   UK 1v 1880-05,   NYE 1907)
sources : comparison of the Library of America (1983) edition of the 1875 book text with the Penguin classics (1986) edition of the 1879 UK text and with the original New York edition (1907)
ch. s. US 1875-11 UK book editions 1879–1880 NYE 1907
general the 13 chapters have numbers and titles divided into 26 chapters, which have numbers only 26 chapters, which have numbers only
1 1 1 Mallet had made his arrangements to sail for Europe on the first of September,… Rowland Mallet had made his arrangements to sail for Europe on the 1st of September,… Rowland Mallet had made his arrangements to sail for Europe on the 5th of September,…
1 1 3 It was not that the young man disliked her; on the contrary, he regarded her with a tender admiration, and… It was not that the young man disliked her; on the contrary, he regarded her with a tender admiration, and… It was not that the young man disliked her; he regarded her, on the contrary, with a tender admiration and…
1 1 12 …and yet there was some sadness in seeing such a bright, proud woman living in such a small, dull way. …and yet there was much sadness in seeing such a bright proud woman living in such a small dull way. …and yet there was pity for him in seeing such a bright proud woman living in such a small dull way.
1 1 16
(=-2)
He had an unaffected suspicion of his uselessness. He had a lively suspicion of his uselessness. He had a lively suspicion of his uselessness.
13/26 (last) last 3 Miss Garland lives with Mrs. Hudson, at Northampton,… Mary Garland lives with Mrs. Hudson, at Northampton,… She lives with Mrs. Hudson under the New England elms,…
13/26 (last) last 4 When he calls upon Miss Garland he never sees Mrs. Hudson. When he calls upon Mary he never sees Mrs. Hudson. When he calls on Mary he never sees the elder lady.
13/26 (last) last 6 (last) But he always says to her in answer, “No, I assure you I am the most patient!”   [end of novel] But he always says to her in answer, “No, I assure you I am the most patient!”   [end of novel] But he always says to her in answer: “No, I assure you I’ m the most patient!” And then he talks to her of Roderick, of whose history she never wearies and whom he never elsewhere names.   [end of novel]
The American
(mag. 1876-06/P12M,   US 1877-05,   [UK unauth. 1877-12],   UK 1879-03,   NYE 1907)
sources : 1877 to 1879 changes (which are very few) are taken from the list on page 316 of the Norton critical edition (1978); changes between the 1879 and 1907 have been identified by comparison of that Norton critical edition of the Macmillan 1879 text with the original New York edition
ch. s. US 1877-05 UK 1879-03 NYE 1907
1 1 2 …fine arts; but the gentleman in question had taken serene possession … in profound enjoyment of his posture. …fine arts; but the gentleman in question had taken serene possession … in profound enjoyment of his posture. …fine arts; but our visitor had taken serene possession … in deep enjoyment of his posture.
16 20 3 [para. beg. “A murder by moonlight,”…]
To make it complete, there is the silver dagger, you see,… To make it complete, there is a dagger of diamonds, you see,… To make it complete, there ’s a dagger of diamonds you see,…
19 13/
15–16
13/ last [para. beg. Newman was in no humour to enjoy good company. / New York edition : Newman found his company depressing.]
…and which turned out to be an old copy of ‘Faublas.’ Valentin was still lying with his eyes closed,… …and which turned out to be an old copy of ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses.’ <new para.>Valentin was still lying with his eyes closed,… …and which turned out to be an odd volume of ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses.’ <new para.>Valentin still lay with his eyes closed,…
26 (last) last 4/3 all     “It is most provoking,” said Mrs. Tristram, “to hear you talk of the ‘charge’ when the charge is burnt up. Is it quite consumed?” she asked, glancing at the fire.
    Newman assured her that there was nothing left of it.
    “Well then,” she said, “I suppose there is no harm in saying that you probably did not make them so very uncomfortable. My impression would be that since, as you say, they defied you, it was because they believed that, after all, you would never really come to the point. Their confidence, after counsel taken of each other, was not in their innocence, nor in their talent for bluffing things off ; it was in your remarkable good nature! You see they were right.”
    Newman instinctively turned to see if the little paper was in fact consumed; but there was nothing left of it.   [end of novel]
    “It is most provoking,” said Mrs. Tristram, “to hear you talk of the ‘charge’ when the charge is burnt up. Is it quite consumed?” she asked, glancing at the fire.
    Newman assured her that there was nothing left of it.
    “Well then,” she said, “I suppose there is no harm in saying that you probably did not make them so very uncomfortable. My impression would be that since, as you say, they defied you, it was because they believed that, after all, you would never really come to the point. Their confidence, after counsel taken of each other, was not in their innocence, nor in their talent for bluffing things off ; it was in your remarkable good nature! You see they were right.”
    Newman instinctively turned to see if the little paper was in fact consumed; but there was nothing left of it.
  [end of novel]
    “It ’s most provoking,” she returned, “to hear you talk of the ‘charge’ when the charge is burned up. Is it quite consumed?” she asked, glancing at the fire. He assured her there was nothing left of it, and at this, dropping her embroidery, she got up and came near him. “I need n’t tell you at this hour how I ’ve felt for you. But I like you as you are,” she said.
    “As I am—?”
    “As you are.” She stood before him and put out her hand as for his own, which he a little blankly let her take. “Just exactly as you are,” she repeated. With which, bending her head, she raised his hand and very tenderly and beautifully kissed it. Then, “Ah, poor Claire!” she sighed as she went back to her place. It drew from him, while his flushed face followed her, a strange inarticulate sound, and this made her but say again: “Yes, a thousand times— poor, poor Claire!”
  [end of novel]
The portrait of a lady
(UK mag. 1880-10/P14M,   US mag. 1880-11/P14M,   UK 3v 1881-11,   US 1881-11,   UK 1v 1882-06,   NYE 1908)
sources : the textual variants list (pages 495–575) in the Norton critical edition (1975), backed up by checking the Könemann and Penguin popular classics editions (both 1997) of the UK 1881 and 1882 text with the original New York edition (1907)
ch. s. book editions 1881–1882 NYE 1908
1 2 2 …the weather had played all sorts of picturesque tricks, only, however, to improve and refine it, presented itself to the lawn, with its patches of ivy,… …the weather had played all sorts of pictorial tricks, only, however, to improve and refine it, presented to the lawn its patches of ivy,…
1 3 2 But at present, obviously, he was not likely to displace himself ;… At present, obviously, nevertheless, he was not likely to displace himself ;…
55 (last) -3 3
(3-4)
And without finishing his phrase, or looking up, he turned away. And without finishing his phrase or looking up he stiffly averted himself. But he couldn’t otherwise move.
55 (last) last 1 On which he looked up at her.   [end of novel] On which he looked up at her – but only to guess, from her face, with a revulsion, that she simply meant he was young. She stood shining at him with that cheap comfort, and it added, on the spot, thirty years to his life. She walked him away with her, however, as if she had given him now the key to patience.   [end of novel]
The Princess Casamassima
(mag. 1885-09/P14M,   UK 3v 1886-10,   US 1886-11 = UK 1v 1887-08,   NYE 1908)
sources : comparison of the original UK (1886) edition with the original New York edition (1908)
ch. s. book editions 1886–1887 NYE 1908
1 1 1 …she had a fluttering wish to assent… …she had a fluttered wish to assent…
1 1 5 …as devoted to the child as she had struck her solemn, substantial guest as being,… …as devoted to the child as she had struck her large, grave guest as being,…
47 (last) last 20–21 (last 2) The Princess got up, hearing another person in the room, and then Schinkel perceived the small revolver lying just under the bed. He picked it up and carefully placed it on the mantel-shelf, keeping, equally carefully, to himself the reflection that it would certainly have served much better for the Duke.   [end of novel] The Princess rose, hearing another person in the room, and then Schinkel caught sight of the small revolver lying just under the bed. He picked it up and carefully placed it on the mantel-shelf – keeping all to himself, with an equal prudence, the reflexion that it would certainly have served much better for the Duke.   [end of novel]
The Reverberator
(mag. 1888-02/P6M,   UK 2v 1888-06,   US 1888-06,   UK 1v 1888-08,   NYE 1908)
sources : comparison of the original UK one-volume text (1888) with the original New York edition (1908)
ch. s. book editions 1888 NYE 1908
1 1 3 …hotel (he sat … hotel), and had gone… …hotel he sat … hotel and had gone…
1 1 4 …he had as a matter of course got up and made his way across the court, to announce to the personage in question that she had a visitor. …he had as a matter of course risen and made his way across the court to announce to his child that she had a visitor.
14 (last) last 5 …so that she could open the door for the Proberts if they should knock. …so that she could open the door for the Proberts if the Proberts should knock.
14 (last) last 6 …would have been told so was still more agreeable. …would have been resoundingly told so was still more agreeable.
The tragic muse
(mag. 1889-01/P17M,   US 2v 1890-06,   UK 3v 1890-06,   UK 1v 1891-02,   NYE 1908)
sources : comparison of the Rupert Hart-Davis (1948) edition of the 1890 text with the original New York edition (1908)
ch. s. book editions 1890–1891 NYE 1908
1 1 3 …artless appeals, but no particular tension of the visual sense would have been required to embrace the character of the four persons in question. …artless appeals, but it need have put forth no great intensity to take in the characters I mention.
1 1 4 As a solicitation of the eye on definite grounds, they too constituted a successful plastic fact; and even the most superficial observer would have perceived them to be striking products of an insular neighbourhood,… As a solicitation of the eye on definite grounds, these visitors too constituted a successful plastic fact; and even the most superficial observer would have marked them as products of an insular neighbourhood,…
51 (last) last last It is very true there has been a rumour that Mr. Macgeorge is worried about her – has even ceased to believe in her.   [end of novel] It is very true there has been a rumour that Mr. Macgeorge is worried about her – has even ceased at all fondly to believe in her.   [end of novel]
The spoils of Poynton
(mag. 1896-04/P7M*,   UK 1897-02,   US 1897-02,   NYE 1908)
* serialized under the title The old things
sources : comparison of the Making of America copy of the original Atlantic monthly (1896) appearance of The old things with the original UK (1897) book and with the original New York edition (1908)
ch. s. mag. 1896-04/P7M book editions 1897 NYE 1908
1 1 1 …but suddenly it seemed to her that she should not be able to wait even till church-time for relief : breakfast, at Waterbath, was a punctual repast,… …but suddenly it seemed to her that she should not be able to wait even till church-time for relief : breakfast, at Waterbath, was a punctual meal,… …but suddenly it seemed to her she shouldn’t be able to wait even till church-time for relief : breakfast was at Waterbath a punctual meal,…
1 1 2 She prepared, in her room, for the little rural walk (she knew the church to be near), and on her way down again, passing through corridors, observing imbecilities of decoration, the æsthetic misery of the big, commodious house, she felt the displeasure of the evening before violently aggravated, – a renewal, in her spirit, of that secret pain unfailingly inflicted by ugliness and stupidity. Knowing the church to be near, she prepared, in her room for the little rural walk, and on her way down again, passing through corridors and observing imbecilities of decoration, the æsthetic misery of the big commodious house, she felt a return of the tide of last night’s irritation, a renewal of everything she could secretly suffer from ugliness and stupidity. Knowing the church to be near she prepared in her room for the little rural walk, and on her way down again, passing through corridors and observing imbecilities of decoration, the æsthetic misery of the big commodious house, she felt a return of the tide of last night’s irritation, a renewal of everything she could secretly suffer from ugliness and stupidity.
1 1 8 …yet none the less, as in her fresh widow’s weeds she rustled across the hall, she was sustained… …yet none the less, as in her fresh widow’s weeds she rustled across the hall, she was sustained… …yet none the less, as she rustled in her fresh widow’s weeds across the hall, she was sustained…
22 (last) 45 9 [long paragraph beginning : But with the opening of the door… (the sixth of the long paragraphs in the middle of the chapter)]
The smoke was in her eyes, but she saw the station-master, from the end of the platform, recognize her, too, and come straight to her. The smoke was in her eyes, but she saw the station-master, from the end of the platform, identify her too and come straight at her. The smoke was in her eyes, but she saw the station-master, from the end of the platform, identify her too and come straight at her.
22 (last) -4 1 The man hesitated. “What can you call it,… The man hesitated. “What can you call it,… The man faltered. “What can you call it,…
22 (last) -3 2 “Is there an up-train?” she asked. “Is there an up-train?” she asked. “Is there an up-train?”
What Maisie knew
(mag. 1897-01/P8M,   UK 1897-09,   US 1897-10,   NYE 1909)
sources : having no edition of the 1897 text to hand, the following variants are taken from the list on pages 286–294 of the Oxford world’s classics (1998) edition of the New York edition text
ch. s. book editions 1897 NYE 1909
1 7 9 They made up together for instance some twelve feet of stature,… They made up together for instance some twelve feet three of stature,…
31 (last) 112 1 “I love Sir Claude – I love him,” Maisie replied with a sense slightly rueful and embarrassed that she appeared to offer it… “I love Sir Claude – I love him,” Maisie replied with an awkward sense that she appeared to offer it…
In the cage
(UK 1898-08,   US 1898-09,   NYE 1908)
sources : direct comparison of the original UK (1898) edition with the New York edition (copyright 1908, title-page publication date 1909)
ch. s. book editions 1898 NYE 1908
1 1 2 …to see any one come in whom she knew, as she called it, outside, and who could add something to the poor identity of her function. …to see any one come in whom she knew outside, as she called it, any one who could add anything to the meanness of her function.
1 2 2 …were no more to her than one of the momentary appearances in the great procession;… …were no more to her than one of the momentary, the practically featureless, appearances in the great procession;…
26 1 8 …prompted Mrs. Jordan to dash, at a venture, at something that might attenuate criticism. …prompted Mrs. Jordan to dash, a bit wildly, at something, at anything, that might attenuate criticism.
26 22 3 [para. beg. Our young lady, at this,…]
…future, of no such very different suggestion, at last… …future, of no such very different complexion, at last…
26 22 7 She felt indeed magnanimous in such matters; for if it was very well,… She felt indeed magnanimous in such matters; since if it was very well,…
The awkward age
(mag. 1898-10/P15W,   UK 1899-04,   US 1899-05,   NYE 1908)
sources : comparison of the original UK (1898) edition with the original New York edition (1908)
bk ch. s. book editions 1899 NYE 1908
1 1 1 9 …a club at which one couldn’t have a visitor, accepted, under pressure, his invitation. …a club at which one couldn’t have a visitor, accepted his invitation under pressure.
1 1 5 5 He had indeed no presence, but he had somehow an effect. He had indeed no presence but had somehow an effect.
10 (last) 4 (last) 114
(=-12)
6 It was all obviously clearer to her than it had ever been, and her sense… It was all obviously clearer to her than ever yet, and her sense…
The wings of the dove
(US 2v 1902-08,   UK 1902-08,   NYE 1909)
sources : comparison of the Penguin modern classics (1965) edition of the 1902 UK text with the original New York edition (1909), backed up by the full textual variants list (pages 422–436) in the Norton critical edition (1978)
bk ch. s. book editions 1902 NYE 1909
general chapters numbered continuously chapters numbered within books
[1] 1 1 7 …of individual, personal collapse,… …of individual, of personal collapse,…
[1] 1 1 9 …the interview for which she had prepared herself ;… …the interview to which she had braced herself ;…
– /
10
38/
6 (last)
59–60 all     “Ah,” he couldn’t help from breaking in, “what do you know of my place? Pardon me,” he immediately added; “my preference is the one I express.”
    She had in an instant, all the same, a curious thought. “But won’t the facts be published?”
    “Ah,” he could n’t help breaking in, “what do you know of my place? Pardon me,” he at once added; “my preference is the one I express.”
    She had in an instant nevertheless a curious thought. “But wo n’t the facts be published?”
– /
10
38/
6 (last)
-11 1 …made his breath come slow to him, he waited… …made his breath come slow, he waited…
The ambassadors
(mag. 1903-01/P12M,   UK 1903-09,   US 1903-11,   NYE 1909)
sources : the selected textual variants list (pages 348–354) in the Norton critical edition (2nd ed., 1994), backed up by checking the Könemann edition (1996) of the UK 1903 text and the original New York edition (1909)
pt/bk ch. s. UK 1903 US 1903 NYE 1909
1 1 3 1 …but expressive and agreeable – came back to him… …but expressive and agreeable – came back to him… …but on happy terms with each other – came back to him…
2 4
(1)
46 2 [para. beg. “Well,” she lucidly returned,…]
And she took the subject up further on. And she reappeared further on. And she forged ahead.
2 5
(2)
7–8 -1–2 (1) …he should have been there with and, as might have been said, for Chad.
    With his letters in his lap then, in his Luxembourg nook – letters held with nervous, unconscious intensity – he thought of things in a strange, vast order, swinging at moments off into space, into past and future, and then dropping fast, with some loss of breath, but with a soft, reassuring thud, down to yesterday and today. Thus it was that he came back to his puzzle of the evening, the question of whether he could have taken Chad to such a play, and what effect…
…he should have been there with, and as might have been said, for Chad.
    This suggested the question of whether he could properly have taken him to such a play, and what effect…
…he should have been there with, and as might have been said, for Chad.
    This suggested the question of whether he could properly have taken him to such a play, and what effect…
12 (last) 36
(5)
(last)
13 3 “I mean that he’ll give her up.” “I mean that he’ll give her up.” “I mean I don’t believe it will be for that he’ll give her up.”
12 (last) 36
(5)
(last)
-5 1 He considered, but he kept it straight. “That’s the way… “That’s the way… “That’s the way…
Identifying the chapter order
first sentence(s) of chapter (all texts) mag. UK 1903 US 1903 NYE 1909 reprints since 1950
One of the features of the restless afternoon passed by him after Mrs Pocock’s visit was an hour spent, shortly before dinner, with Maria Gostrey, whom of late, in spite of so sustained a call on his attention from other quarters, he had by no means neglected. And that he was still not neglecting her will appear from the fact that he was with her again at the same hour on the very morrow – with… ch. 28 ch. 29 (in bk 11, as first ch.) ch. 28 (in bk 11) bk 11, ch. 1 bk 11, ch. 2
He went late that evening to the Boulevard Malesherbes, having his impression that it would be vain to go early, and having also, more than once in the course of the day, made enquiries of the concierge. omitted ch. 28 (in bk 10, as fourth ch.) ch. 29 (in bk 11) bk 11, ch. 2 bk 11, ch. 1
The golden bowl
(US 2v 1904-11,   UK 1905-02,   NYE 1909)
sources : the selected textual variants list (pages 577–578) in the Oxford world’s classics (1999) edition of the UK 1905 text, backed up by checking the original New York edition (1909)
pt/bk ch. s. book editions 1904–1905 NYE 1909
general two ‘books’, six ‘parts’, chapters numbered continuously six ‘books’ (corresponding to the 1905 ‘parts’, split between the two relevant volumes of the NYE, but the half-titles in the text only mark the books), chapters numbered within books
1 1 last 16 Would that break the spell,… Would that dissipate the spell,…
1 2 36 14 …– his heart had positively begun to beat to the tune of suspense. …– his heart had positively begun to beat to the time of suspense.
[to me this looks like a misprint in the 1905 edition, but Virginia Llewellyn Smith retains ‘tune’ in her Oxford world’s classics edition]
1 4 2 3 was always beguiling to old soldiers;… was always mistress of a spell to old soldiers;…
6 40/
1
10 2 [para. beg. It only, however, half contented Fanny,…]
…you’ve ‘fixed’ it – to funk? Unless… …you ’ve ‘fixed’ it – to dodge? Unless…
[note that ‘funk’ in the previous paragraph is not changed, making the emphasis nonsensical in the NYE]