Study Guide

The American Allusions

By Henry James


Literary and Philosophical References

  • Noemie, name of the American heroine in Alexander Dumas's play L'Etrangere (1.27).
  • Rolla, hero of an 1833 poem by Alfred de Musset and Fortunio, of an 1837 tale by Theophile Gautier (3.70).
  • Extracts from (Laphonse) Lamartine, a French Romantic writer (4.27).
  • The Mysteries of Fifth Avenue, reference to Ann Radcliffe's 1794 Gothic romance The Mysteries of Udolpho (6.28).
  • Children of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, murderers of their mother (8.1).

Historical References

  • Greek legend of Alexander the Great showing his calling to rule Asia by cutting the knot of Gordius (3.38).
  • Counts Egmont and Horn, executed for rebelling against the Spanish Inquisition (5.1).
  • Alexander the Great (3.5.4).
  • Benjamin Franklin convinced France to help out America in the Revolutionary War (13.20).

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