Covering End is another of the ‘lost’ long tales by Henry James (see my edition of The Papers), which is strange since it is pendant to The turn of the screw, the best known of all the tales, in the book publication The two magics (1898). The explanation for this may lie in the fact that it was ‘converted’ by James from his original one-act play Summersoft, which was written for Ellen Terry but not performed. The tale bears distinct traces of its lineage, both in its structure and in the rather melodramatic change of heart by one of the principle characters. In fact, a later impresario persuaded James to turn the tale back into a play as the three-act The high bid, which was produced briefly in 1907 – the two stage versions are also available on this website, both separately and in a parallel texts layout for comparison.

If you spot any corrections which need to be made, or have any comments about the editorial method or indeed about the tale itself, I would be delighted to hear from you through my contact page. For corrections please give details of the work, the chapter (if appropriate), the current text (so that I can find it!) and the emendation required; thank you.