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What Maisie Knew

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October 2013, no. 355

What Maisie Knew

by
October 2013, no. 355

The last twelve months have seen some notable film reworkings of classic literary texts, with Anna Karenina set in a theatre, a black Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, and a gorgeous Much Ado About Nothing enacted in monochrome contemporary California. Now we have a compelling version of Henry James’s novel What Maisie Knew (1897), which reminds one of what a good run he has had with film adaptations. Hapless as he was as a stage dramatist, James would have been delighted with such potent film versions as The Heiress (ex-Washington Square, 1949) and The Wings of the Dove (1997).