We are scattered now, the friends of the late Mr. Oliver Offord; but whenever we chance to meet I think we are conscious of a certain esoteric respect for each other. I don't know who has it now, and don't want to know; it's enough to be so sure that if I should ring the bell there would be no such luck for me as that Brooksmith should open the door. Offord, the most agreeable, the most attaching of bachelors, was a retired diplomatist, living on his pension and on something of his own over and above; a good deal confined, by his infirmities, to his fireside and delighted to be found there any afternoon in the year, from five o'clock on, by such visitors as Brooksmith allowed to come up.

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A middle-period short story by Henry James about the enthusiasms and decay of an intellectually curious servant. Get A Copy. Published More Details Other Editions 4.

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A sad and beautiful story about a human being that was a servant in the society divided by classes. Dec 01, Galicius rated it liked it Shelves: english , short-fiction. This is a stab at English aristocracy and their treatment of their servant class. Jun 26, karen rated it it was amazing. I was deeply touched by this story about an intellectually curious servant. As in the Series, this short story provided a sad realism to lives that were separated by class in society and the inability of the lower classes to advance in society.

Feb 11, Marcus Vinicius rated it it was amazing Shelves: literature , short-stories , henry-james. Life and Work of an English Butler Brooksmith is quite a character! Henry James vivid style and the narrative in first person through the perspective of one character attract the reader. At the end, the reader will not be indifferent. Mar 12, Graychin D. Dalrymple rated it liked it. In the garden of society, some are showy flowers, some noble towering trees, and some shade-giving vines.

This is a dated but effective portrait of an intellectually curious member of the serving class. Melissa Giamou rated it did not like it May 27, Ezekiel Shawn rated it it was amazing Mar 29, Neverneve rated it really liked it Mar 30, Dean Karpowicz rated it liked it Jun 12, Loze rated it liked it Sep 10, Brett rated it it was ok Nov 29, Zakhar Dyner rated it really liked it Dec 03, Tonya rated it liked it Apr 14, Michael Grogan rated it liked it Jan 03, Duncan Calvert rated it it was amazing Oct 11, Mike rated it liked it Feb 20, Yve rated it really liked it May 05, Suralista rated it liked it Jan 26, Surhay Kilic rated it did not like it May 10, David rated it it was amazing Jan 20, Cheyenne Elizabeth rated it really liked it Sep 20, Paula rated it it was amazing Dec 21, Michael Lloyd-Billington rated it liked it Nov 05, Swati rated it it was ok Jan 28, Ashley rated it did not like it Aug 22, Brina rated it really liked it Jun 23, Sneh Pradhan rated it it was ok Aug 23, Jonas rated it it was ok Sep 06, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Readers also enjoyed. Short Stories. About Henry James. Henry James. He spent much of his life in England and became a British subject shortly before his death. He is primarily known for a series of major novels in which he portrayed the encounter of America with Europe.

His plots centered on personal relationships, the proper exercise of power in such relationships, and other moral questions. His method of writing from the point of view of a character within a tale allowed him to explore the phenomena of consciousness and perception, and his style in later works has been compared to impressionist painting. James insisted that writers in Great Britain and America should be allowed the greatest freedom possible in presenting their view of the world, as French authors were.

His imaginative use of point of view, interior monologue and unreliable narrators in his own novels and tales brought a new depth and interest to realistic fiction, and foreshadowed the modernist work of the twentieth century. An extraordinarily productive writer, in addition to his voluminous works of fiction he published articles and books of travel writing, biography, autobiography, and criticism,and wrote plays, some of which were performed during his lifetime with moderate success.

His theatrical work is thought to have profoundly influenced his later novels and tales. Books by Henry James. Related Articles. Philippa Gregory's Favorite Fictional Heroines. Philippa Gregory is best known for reimagining the lives of famous royal women in bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Read more Trivia About Brooksmith.

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The narrator tells the story of Brooksmith, a butler he had once known. Brooksmith was responsible for the preservation of the atmosphere in a retired diplomat's salon where the guests all male enjoyed a high level of intellectual conversation with the diplomat and each other. Brooksmith was regarded by the narrator as "the artist" who insured that the company at each gathering was the optimum number and mix of personalities to provide the highest level of conversation possible. This was partially of benefit to Brooksmith himself, who would linger in the room on some pretext or other in order to eavesdrop on the exchanges. The diplomat was well aware of this, and alluded to it on occasion with dryly humorous remarks. With the diplomat's death, Brooksmith loses his vocation, which to him was almost a calling. Brooksmith, lonely and dispirited, works a few odd jobs but falls into poverty and illness.


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