This long novel (approx. 209,000 words) was written in 1885–1886 and first appeared in the Atlantic monthly, in fourteen installments from September 1885 to October 1886 inclusive. Unusually for James, early parts were published before the work was complete and, coming so soon after The Bostonians (serialized February 1885 to February 1886), he found it hard to keep up with the publisher’s schedule. No wonder he spent the 1890s concentrating on plays and shorter fictions! Details of early publications and selected later reprints of The Princess Casamassima may be found on the bibliography page for this edition.

The text for the edition on this website re-presents the first UK book edition, published in three volumes (October 1886), subject to changes required by the editor’s standard editorial method. James made a few alterations to the text between the serial and book editions but these will not be noted here apart from mentioning that he changed Mr Vetch’s forename from the original ‘Theophilus’ to ‘Anastasius’ and that the location of the Muniments’ rooms, or at least the description of the location of these, was altered from ‘South Lambeth’ (which distinctly lacks euphony!) to ‘Camberwell’.

Over 200 emendations have been made in preparing this text from the source edition, required by a mixture of inconsistent typesetting, poor proof-reading and, occasionally, poor copy-editing in the original. This may seem a large number but some 45% are accounted for by two editorial decisions: (a) occurrences of ‘daresay’ have been normalized to the majority ‘dare say’ and (b) punctuation after a closing parenthesis has been standardized to that which would occur if the parenthetical interjection were not present (which seems to be the intention). The resulting 22 ‘daresay’ and 76 comma changes are summarized in three separate tables further down this page, in order not to clutter details of the other 118, mostly individual, emendations, which are given first.

Among the individual changes only a few of the inconsistent spellings or hyphenations occur more than once. These have been standardized on the majority version present within the source or, where equal numbers of the variants occur here, on the basis of contemporary examples in the Oxford English Dictionary. Two readings in chapter 1 (those on pages 15 and 17) have been changed as a result of Harry Knowles Girling’s work comparing the printed editions of this chapter with James’s manuscript (see the bibliography), since the printed text makes so much less sense than the intended wording.

One set of changes result from the particularly strange variation between ‘:’ and ‘–’ in linking a descriptive paragraph to reported speech, on the next line, of the character just invoked: I have standardized on the majority ‘–’, although with some reservations since the colon is usually used for the same function within paragraphs, and is also used at the end of paragraphs in the New York edition text; however the majority reading in the 1886 edition is so heavily weighted to the en-dash that I have ‘corrected’ the three with colons, which all occur in the first fifty pages of the first volume. Later similar places having comma or full stop, apparently in error, have similarly been ‘dashed’.

A number of trailings-off of speech seem to have suffered inversion of the dash and the closing quote-mark; again I came to the conclusion that no specific reasons required retention of this quirk. You can at least check up on me about these changes from the links in the following table. A few places remain where I could not make up my mind that a change of punctuation was logically necessary, so you will have to live with these if you spot them.

Spaces, shown as <space> in the table, more obviously result from missing or dropped sorts in the printing-house (incidentally the Monotype machine, which cast type in whole lines as setting proceeded, was invented in 1887, the year after this novel was published, although used initially for newspaper rather than book printing).

Copy-editing oversights, such as ‘Lambeth’ not being changed from the serial text and the incorrect spelling of ‘Peddlington’, have comments in notes linked from the main text: thus the links here for such cases are, like the other links, to the text and you will have to click twice to see the explanation – sorry! Some of the spelling errors, and the failure to change one required occurrence of ‘Lambeth’ to ‘Camberwell’, suggest that the UK book edition was typeset from a marked-up copy of the US serial parts or their galley-proofs.

Note that, in the following table, my usual single- to double-quote change on speech is shown without comment if it falls within the required alteration.

location in 1891
Macmillan edition
page line(s) original text correction
Volume 1
3 11 house door house-door
14 15 exclamation : exclamation –
15 19 nimble withal, nimble-witted,
17 23 severe some
24 21 duty); duty):
24 26 just: just;
30 6 bachelor, bachelor;
37 20 said : said –
41 22 abruptly : abruptly –
49 30 lay ng laying
53 4 beveled bevelled
61 8 good humouredly good-humouredly
62 25 half hour half-hour
67 2 peel peal
106 2 hair-dresser hairdresser
107 23 interne? interne?
107 24 Mon Dieu Mon Dieu
124 13 àpropos à propos
141 15 meant, meant –
164 19–20 un <newline>
happy
un-<newline>
happy
(split word)
178 2 half hour half-hour
184 2 fine fine,
186 6 said again said, again
186 28 frankness. frankness:
188 10 back room back-room
188 27 her. her:
190 9–10 ac_<newline>
knowledgement
ac-<newline>
knowledgement

(split word)
195 9 reward a reward
196 19 half hour half-hour
217 17–18 what<newline>
ever
what-<newline>
ever

(split word)
217 19 way. way.”
219 25 cabinetmaker cabinet-maker
220 3 armchairs arm-chairs
220 16 course; course:
221 12 lad lad,
221 19 brute, brute;
222 19 <space>he she
225 9 patch-work patchwork
236 17 lamplight lamp-light
239 30 pillow pillow.
241 26 spirit-lamp· spirit-lamp;
243 10 cabinetmaker cabinet-maker
248 14 Half-an-hour Half an hour
Volume 2
4 23 you, you,”
14 10 clever, clever,”
14 30 reason’— reason—”
15 19 exclaimed<space> exclaimed,
16 8 see’— see—”
24 9 naïf naïf
29 27 <space>You “You
31 1 before. before:
37 22 <space> they if they
47 9 Récit d’une Sœur Récit d’une Sœur
57 22 Lambeth Camberwell
60 9 went, went
60 30 on. on –
64 11–12 Hyacinth. Hyacinth –
67 9 now<space> now,
68 7 <space>Sun ‘Sun
68 8 cause if cause it
69 27 v’ice ’vice
70 4 think: think;
70 5 degree; degree:
78 10 cabinetmaker cabinet-maker
79 12 on. We on. “We
87 25 him. him –
89 16 your you’re
90 3 fiddlecase fiddle-case
96 2 raveled ravelled
108 24 But but
115 11 much. much.”
136 13 witness witnessed
138 15 on, on:
149 20 portrait. portrait:
155 29 time time,
184 12 <space>What “What
200 24 candle-light candlelight
209 21 Peddlington Pedlington
220 7 garni garni
225 31 discovery<space> discovery,
227 7 underfed under-fed
237 6 on: on –
242 5 Eustace Eustache
245 17 them?) them?).
Volume 3
7 20 A la À la
14 5 forebore forbore
20 27 supersubtle super-subtle
20 27 forebore forbore
29 9 dullness dulness
38 6 question. question:
39 24 swell!<space> swell!”
48 25 on: on –
63 16 <space>Those “Those
65 30 music hall music-hall
70 5 catspaw cat’s-paw
74 29 house door house-door
81 23 Edgeware Edgware
115 19 allusion. allusion ―
122 1 lamplight lamp-light
129 4 own. own:
132 23 here! . . . here—!
135 22 curtness. curtness:
158 4 <space>A “A
162 13 ‘Millicent Millicent
166 22 indoors in-doors
167 13 Especially’— Especially—”
172 11 working classes working-classes
179 28 hesitation. hesitation:
182 29 <space>ith with
197 31 him’– him—”
198 5 ‘At At
199 16 was was:
201 11 up-stairs upstairs
214 23 I suppose “I suppose
214 28 ‘She She
219 9 you’– you—”
223 5 Surely “Surely
239 4 Das kann sein – das kann sein Das kann sein – das kann sein
239 21
241 13 Schön, schön Schön, schön

instances of ‘daresay’ converted to ‘dare say’
volume 1 volume 2 volume 3
p. 3, l. 1
p. 80, l. 5
p. 106, l. 4
p. 111, l. 5
p. 112, l. 27
p. 132, l. 10
p. 169, l. 17
p. 182, l. 18
p. 232, l. 30
p. 236, l. 19–20
p. 236, l. 22
p. 237, l. 5
p. 237, l. 16
p. 248, l. 1
p. 13, l. 8
p. 14, l. 14
p. 58, l. 24
p. 76, l. 6
p. 78, l. 14
p. 81, l. 20
p. 89, l. 28
p. 237, l. 10
none

instances of ‘),’ converted to ‘)’ (comma removed)
volume 1 volume 2 volume 3
p. 20, l. 11
p. 22, l. 9
p. 32, l. 7
p. 90, l. 15
p. 120, l. 1
p. 129, l. 1
p. 153, l. 24
p. 156, l. 10
p. 185, l. 7
p. 197, l. 14
p. 215, l. 4
p. 227, l. 23
p. 235, l. 22
p. 236, l. 13
p. 9, l. 27
p. 18, l. 5
p. 21, l. 21
p. 24, l. 15
p. 25, l. 29
p. 35, l. 15
p. 43, l. 4
p. 48, l. 26
p. 71, l. 21
p. 77, l. 9
p. 101, l. 29
p. 119, l. 18
p. 131, l. 8
p. 144, l. 6
p. 148, l. 26
p. 169, l. 20
p. 173, l. 9
p. 174, l. 3
p. 178, l. 29
p. 189, l. 19
p. 194, l. 28
p. 206, l. 30
p. 211, l. 22
p. 212, l. 4
p. 214, l. 20
p. 215, l. 22
p. 222, l. 23
p. 223, l. 8
p. 227, l. 7
p. 238, l. 21
p. 240, l. 22
p. 243, l. 9
p. 243, l. 19
p. 247, l. 16
p. 248, l. 16
p. 249, l. 18
p. 1, l. 4
p. 2, l. 30
p. 8, l. 25
p. 10, l. 10
p. 13, l. 20
p. 21, l. 26
p. 27, l. 17
p. 28, l. 31
p. 40, l. 26
p. 71, l. 17
p. 78, l. 22
p. 92, l. 18
p. 146, l. 9
p. 165, l. 22
p. 181, l. 27
p. 212, l. 12

instances of ‘)’ converted to ‘),’ (comma added)
volume 1 volume 2 volume 3
p. 181, l. 24
p. 234, l. 4
p. 38, l. 30
p. 141, l. 29
p. 193, l. 10
p. 180, l. 28

The script used in preparing the downloadable ASCII version of this text counted 209,104 words in it.

Because of the production method the text has been proof-read twice, but only by this editor, so it is possible that some errors have slipped through twice – offers of proofing assistance will be gratefully received by Adrian Dover.