texts

‘The turn of the screw’ by Henry James
in : Collier’s weekly, vol. 20-21 (27 January-16 April 1898)

disposition:
introductory: 20 (no. ?) 27 January 1898, pages ?;
(pt1) chapters 1–2: 20 (no. ?) 3 February 1898, pages ?;
        chapters 3: 20 (no. ?) 10 February 1898, pages ?;
(pt2) chapters 4–5: 20 (no. ?) 17 February 1898, pages ?;
        chapters 6–7: 20 (no. ?) 24 February 1898, pages ?;
(pt3) chapters 8–9: 20 (no. ?) 3 March 1898, pages ?;
        chapters 10–12: 20 (no. ?) 10 March 1898, pages ?;
(pt4) chapters 13–15: 20 (no. ?) 17 March 1898, pages ?;
        chapters 16–18: 20 (no. ?) 24 March 1898, pages ?;
(pt5) chapters 19–20: 20 (no. ?) 2 April 1898, pages ?;
        chapters 21–22: 20 (no. ?) 9 April 1898, pages ?;
        chapters 23–24: 21 (no. ?) 16 April 1898, pages ?;

the tale was commissioned by, and first appeared in, this popular American weekly; for more details of its history see the online Wikipedia entry


The two magics : The turn of the screw ; Covering End / by Henry James. – London : Heinemann, 1898. – 310 p. ; 20 cm.pages 3–169

The two magics : The turn of the screw ; Covering End / by Henry James. – New York ; London : Macmillan, 1898. – 393 p. ; 20 cm.pages 3–213

contents: The turn of the screw; Covering End

containing the first book publication on each side of the Atlantic; the two editions were probably published simultaneously on 1898-10-05: the British one in an edition of 1500 copies at the usual 6/‒ each and the American of 2250 copies retailing at $1·50 each; despite its title page, the Macmillan edition was for non-UK, non-colonial distribution only; further details, including illustrations of sample pages can be found in a section of the Ladder devoted to this volume


The Aspern papers ; The turn of the screw ; The liar ; The two faces / by Henry James. – New York : Scribner ; London : Macmillan, 1909. – xxiii, 412 p. ; 22 cm. (The novels and tales of Henry James : New York edition ; v. 12) — pages 147–309

contents: The Aspern papers; The turn of the screw; The liar; The two faces

as usual, James revised the text for his collective edition, which was sold on subscription only: in America an initial 1000 copies of each volume were available at $2, $4 or $8 per volume (depending on the binding chosen); one hundred sets of the same sheets were bound in Britain for Macmillan’s first, 8/6 per volume issue; this volume appeared early in 1909 and an unknown quantity of additional copies, in both territories, were produced later


for subsequent reprints of this tale
see the relevant page of my
index to Henry James’s tales in collections


commentaries and discussions

As it is the most commented upon of all James’s works, a full bibliography of The turn of the screw would be enormous and, perhaps not surprisingly, no one has published such a work, although it seems an obvious gap to fill! Sadly, I haven’t the time to create one here, as I have tried to do for most of the other tales on the Ladder and, somehow, it seemed invidious to single out a handful of works, even though some of you might find that useful. Therefore, apart from linking James’s own preface, available on this site, I have given details of the two widely available critical editions, each of which contains selected bibliographical details of major work, and a handful of more recent articles which I have found particularly useful. (You may also wish to consult the general works on James’s tales, which I have listed on a separate page although I can’t honestly recommend any of them, not having seen Albers’s book.)


‘Preface’ by Henry James
in : The Aspern papers ; The turn of the screw ;… (New York edition) — see above;
reprinted in : The art of the novel : critical prefaces / by Henry James, with an introduction by Richard P. Blackmur. – New York ; London : Scribner, 1934. – xli, 348 p. ; 22 cm.pages 159–179

relevant text available on this website


The turn of the screw : authoritative text, contexts, criticism / by Henry James. – 2nd ed. / edited by Deborah Esch and Jonathan Warren. – New York : W. W. Norton, 1998. – xiii, 271 p. ; 22 cm. (A Norton critical edition) – ISBN 0-393-95904-X

the supporting material is completely revised from Robert Kimborough’s 1966 first edition; the extracts from criticism are arranged in three periods ‘early’ ‘major’ (1921–1970) and ‘recent’ (1970- ) on pages 149–262; the selected bibliography is on pages 267–271


The turn of the screw : complete, authoritative text with biographical, historical and cultural contexts, critical history and essays from contemporary critical perspectives / Henry James ; edited by Peter G. Beidler. – 2nd ed. – Boston : Bedford/St. Martin’s ; Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. – xiii, 386 p. ; ill. ; 21 cm. (Case studies in contemporary criticism) – ISBN 0-312-40691-6 (Bedford) – outside North America : ISBN 0-4039-3235-2 (Palgrave)

apart from some contemporary reactions, Beidler provides a ‘critical history’ and series editor Ross C Murfin four introductions to specialist areas of criticism: ‘reader-response’, ‘psychoanalytic’, ‘gender’ and ‘Marxist’, each of which is accompanied by its own bibliography and a ‘perspective’ by a noted critic working in that tradition (Wayne C. Booth, Stanley Renner, Priscilla L. Walton and Bruce Robbins respectively); finally, Sheila Teahan provides a commentary on combining perspectives; for anyone wanting to explore the ramifications of The turn of the screw in the twenty-first century, this is the place to start


‘When did Henry James write The turn of the screw?’ by Christopher Moran
in : Notes and queries, vol. 56 no. 3 (September 2009), pages 402–404

pins down, with more precision than ever before, the period when James wrote the tale, arguing for a concentrated few weeks in November 1897


‘Errors, misjudgements and strategies in The turn of the screwby Christopher Moran
in : English studies, vol. 92 no. 6 (October 2011), pages 634–661

highlights and attempts to explain some of the internal discrepancies and mismanaged revisions in the text; accounts for these by the time pressure under which James wrote and edited the tale