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A Golden, Empty Shell: The Depiction of Venice in Henry James's "Travelling Companions", The Aspern Papers and The Wings of the Dove


  • Michela Maraga

Summary, in English

Henry James had a thirty-year-long relationship with the city of Venice, which made it possible for him to develop a profound knowledge of the city's architecture and art. James's interest in 'The Floating City' is reflected in three of his works that are set there, namely, "Travelling Companions" (1870), The Aspern Papers (1888) and The Wings of the Dove (1902). This essay investigates how Venice and its inhabitants are depicted in the three works. By comparing the tropes on Venice that James employs with the tropes that have been used in the 18th and 19th century, this essay shows the bond that connects James's works with previous authors' works. Furthermore, it examines the picture of the city that emerges and its role in the narration. It draws the conclusion that the depiction of Venice is multifaceted as the city always has an active role in the narration and is not a mere setting. All depictions are collected in the appendix.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Kiki Lindell