As a postscript to my yesterday's letter about your review of my Henry James And The Jacobites, I now perceive that I have done Mr. Max Byrd a gross injustice.
Instead of reading only the first and last chapters of my book, he has indeed read the section on The American Scene. He has quoted my verdict on this book as being "James's most vicious book at its core" quite accurately.
He has then continued to say--absolutely ignoring the mass of evidence from The American Scene itself which I use to support my view of this book--that its real merit is the sheer experience of James's sensitivity. "Reading the book is like wading into a great pool of consciousness." Etc.
Whose consciousness about what is not Mr. Byrd's concern here, "charmed" as he is by Henry James's "personal touch." Now this is the kind of Jacobite Can't that drove me to distraction--and to laughter--during five long years. Fellow students of Harvard, I submit you have a concealed Jacobite Fellow-Traveler at the very center of your communications network! Fellow students of Harvard, I ask you to beware of these Jacobites! I say the problem is not to "Stamp Out Henry James"--as has been suggested--but to keep a stern watch upon these hidden Jamesians in your very midst! Fraternally, but ominously yours, M. G.