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The Soft Side - JAMES, HENRY (CONRAD, JOSEPH) - 1900. 
Methuen, London 1900 - First edition, author's presentation copy, inscribed on the half-title: "To Joseph Conrad / Henry James / Sept 10th 1900". A major modernist association, and one that links the two male subjects of F.R. Leavis's 'The Great Tradition'. "So many qualities do the two writers share", wrote another critic, "that it is possible to think of Joseph Conrad as Henry James for people who prefer to read about the out-of-doors." They first met in February 1897, when James was 53 and Conrad fourteen years his junior, and remained life-long friends. In a letter to John Quinn, after James's death in 1916, Conrad remarked that: "I had a profound affection for him. He knew of it and he accepted it as if it were something worth having. At any rate that is the impression I have. And he wasn't a man who would pretend. What need had he? . . . even if he had been capable of it?" Conrad always wrote to James in French, addressing him as "Cher Maitre" and choosing the language of Flaubert, the writer to whom both were devoted. `The Soft Side' is particularly notable for several short stories about the artistic life in which James portrays the modern novelist as a figure isolated by his Flaubertian dedication to artistic form. Apart from this collection of stories and `The Sacred Fount', the sale catalogue of Conrad's library (Hodgson's; March 13th 1925) lists just two other books with an inscription from James, only one of them a work by James himself. In return for a flattering presentation copy of `An Outcast of the Islands', James inscribed a copy of `The Spoils of Poynton' thus: "To Joseph Conrad in dreadfully delayed but very grateful acknowledgement of an offering singularly generous and beautiful, Henry James, Feb. 11, 1897". The other title was Pierre Loti's `Impressions', to which James had contributed an introduction. A very good copy. [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy]
[Bookseller: Peter Grogan]
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