2013-11-10 : Apologies that there have been no major updates to the Ladder for some three years. Various time pressures, computer problems and lack of online connectivity have reduced the time and feasibility of editing and uploading new work. I am happy to say however that some of the problems eased in August and there is now a first tranche of updates and improvements. The major addition is nine new editions of tales: A bundle of letters, ‘Europe’, A passionate pilgrim, Paste, The Patagonia, The Pension Beaurepas, The point of view, The pupil, and The real thing. The concordance has been updated to include all these texts.

There are two other new features. One is the long-promised compilation of the summary synopses of the tales. I have created a page with a summary for every tale, not just for the editions presented here. This is aimed chiefly at users who vaguely remember reading or hearing about a James tale but don’t know which one it is. Hopefully a scan down this page will help. The arrangement of the tales is chronological, so if the searcher knows that the tale is ‘early’, ‘middle’ or ‘late’ the scanning time can be reduced.

The other new feature is a list of fictional place names in James’s works. This has developed out of my frustration with the very incomplete list given in Robert L. Gale’s A Henry James encyclopedia (1989). The new page is not quite complete because there remain some novels which I have not completely analysed for relevant names, but all the tales and plays are covered, and I think this alphabetical list makes interesting reading.

The new features appear on the main menu in logical places: the list of fictional places after the concordance link, and the summaries of the tales after the tales’ index link. There are also direct links to the new pages in the ‘other features’ options of each edition’s menu, and, to save space, all those annoying ‘go to the’ phrases have been removed from those options. Behind the scenes there have been lots of changes to the XHTML coding and tweaks to the JavaScript, none of which you should notice. However, I believe my contact page is not working at present, so please try again in 2014, when I may have been able to get it sorted out. Sorry.

2010-10-21 : Nothing major has changed but, following a user pointing out a spelling mistake in the pop-up labelling on one of the main menu options, I have run my word-listing check again, suitably modified to read selected XHTML tag attributes. As a result I have corrected about three dozen more spelling mistakes, not only in the pop-up data, but mostly in the non-James-text pages in the Ladder. The only changes in the transcribed texts have been ‘prétandant’ to ‘prétendant’ in Lady Barberina (which was my error) and ‘Bronté’s’ to ‘Brontë’s’ in A landscape-painter (which was James’s, or his printers at least).

2010-09-19 : The latest addition to the tales’ texts available here is one of James’s earliest stories, A landscape-painter – albeit in the revised book text of 1885 rather than in the original magazine version of 1866 (page images of which are available elsewhere on the web, see my bibliography page about the tale for details). Apologies that the concordance pages haven’t been updated for this tale (it takes ages to upload the large files, so I can’t be bothered every time!).

Forthcoming developments

Having prioritize, please let me know.