Washington Square
Henry James

Book cover image

Narrated By: Lloyd James

Duration: 7 hours and 17 minutes

What to expect

On New York City’s Washington Square lives Catherine Sloper, a shy and plain young woman who is tyrannized by her wealthy, overbearing father. When young Morris Townsend begins to court her, Dr. Sloper distrusts his motives, believing that the young man could not possibly love his daughter. Both lovers are obstinate in their affections; but when Dr. Sloper threatens to disinherit Catherine, Townsend disappears, leaving Catherine to humiliation, heartache, and lonely spinsterhood. Years later, after her father’s death, Townsend returns, and Catherine must make up her own mind about his intentions.


Classic fiction, Fiction: general and literary

Listen to a sample

“Henry James is as solitary in the history of the novel as Shakespeare is in the history of poetry.”

Graham Greene

“Lloyd James gives an excellent reading. His voice is very pleasant and his rendering of the text is subtle and well paced.”


“Every line, every paragraph, every chapter [of Washington Square] is a fleet-footed light brigade, an engine of irony.” 

Cynthia Ozick, American-Jewish short story writer, novelist, and essayist

“Everybody likes Washington Square, even the denigrators of Henry James.”

Donald Hall

“James wrote Washington Square in 1881, six years after his permanent departure from America for Europe. It’s simple on the surface, complex and devastating below: a tale of quiet betrayals and the death of the heart.”

Chicago Tribune

“Washington Square, a tale of a young woman who is caught between her domineering father and her fortune-hunting suitor, is sensitively read by [Lloyd] James, who offers a compassionate interpretation of the protagonist’s plight.”