Year
1875

Henry James’ "Transatlantic Sketches" is published

American writer Henry James’ collection of travel pieces, Transatlantic Sketches, is published. The same year, James publishes a collection of stories, A Passionate Pilgrim, and a novel, Roderick Hudson. These three works herald the beginning of James’ long and influential writing career.

James was born to a wealthy and eccentric philosopher father in 1843 in New York City. His older brother William became the country’s first distinguished psychologist and a well-known philosopher. During their teens, the brothers and their younger siblings were taken abroad by their parents for to study European culture. The family roamed England, Switzerland, and France, visiting galleries, museum, theaters, and libraries for four years.

A back injury exempted James from serving in the Civil War, and he briefly attended Harvard Law School. He began writing fiction in his teens, and his first story was published when he was 21. He soon became a regular contributor of essays, reviews, and stories to Atlantic Monthly and other important periodicals. In 1873, James moved to England and continued publishing reviews while writing many more novels, including The American (1877) and the popular Daisy Miller (1878). In 1881, he published his masterpiece The Portrait of a Lady. Like many of his other works, it deals with naive, young Americans moving in sophisticated European circles. He wrote prolifically, nonfiction as well as fiction, and the prefaces to new editions of his novels have been collected in The Art of the Novel (1834).

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Joan of Arc relieves Orleans

During the Hundred Years’ War, the 17-year-old French peasant Joan of Arc leads a French force in relieving the city of Orleans, besieged by the English since October. At the age of 16, “voices” of Christian saints told Joan to aid Charles, the French dauphin, in gaining the ...read more

Operation Frequent Wind begins

Operation Frequent Wind, the largest helicopter evacuation on record, begins removing the last Americans from Saigon. The North Vietnamese had launched their final offensive in March 1975 and the South Vietnamese forces had fallen back before their rapid advance, losing Quang ...read more

New casualty figures released.

U.S. casualty figures for April 18 to April 24 are released. The 45 killed during that time brought total U.S. losses for the Vietnam War to 45,019 since 1961. These figures made Southeast Asia fourth in total losses sustained by the U.S. during a war, topped only by the number ...read more

Cyclone kills 135,000 in Bangladesh

On this day in 1991, a devastating cyclone hits Bangladesh, killing more than 135,000 people. Even though there had been ample warning of the coming storm and shelter provisions had been built in the aftermath of a deadly 1970 storm, this disaster was one of the worst of the ...read more

Rodney King trial verdict announced

A jury in the Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley acquits four police officers who had been charged with using excessive force in arresting black motorist Rodney King a year earlier. The announcement of the verdict, which enraged the black community, prompted the L.A. riots, which ...read more