Quotation by Henry James

So here it is at last, the distinguished thing!
Henry James (1843–1916), U.S. author. Quoted in A Backward Glance, ch. 14, Edith Wharton (1934).

Words as heard by James Dec. 2, 1915, when he had his first stroke, at the beginning of his last illness. The anecdote has a convoluted lineage, reported by Wharton as told to her by James's friend Lady Prothero. What is certain is that—contrary to what many think—these were not James's dying words. He died February 28, 1916. The story is described by James's biographer Leon Edel as "a beautiful bit of apocrypha," in Writers at Work (Eighth Series, 1988).
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