The following passage has been adapted from the Hathi Trust Digital Library online version of English Hours. — George P. Landow.

It is almost easier to leave it than not to, and much of its richness and interest proceeds from its ramifications, the fact that all England is in a suburban relation to it. Such an affair it is in comparison to get away from Paris or to get into it. London melts by wide, ugly zones into the green country, and becomes pretty insidiously, inadvertently — without stopping to change. It is the spoiling perhaps of the country, but it is the making of the insatiable town, and if one is a helpless and shameless cockney that is all one is obhged to look at. Anything is excusable which enlarges one's civic consciousness. It ministers immensely to that of the London-lover that, thanks to the tremendous system of coming and going, to the active, hospitable habits of the people, to the elaboration of the railway-service, the frequency and rapidity of trains, and last, though not least, to the fact that much of the loveliest scenery in England lies within a radius of fifty miles. [36]

Other Discussions of London by Henry James


James, Henry. English Hours. Illustrated by Joseph Pennell. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1905. Hathi Trust Digital Library online version of a copy in the Library of Congress. Web. 12 April 2020.

Last modified 12 April 2020