The Spoils of Poynton cover

The Spoils of Poynton


The Spoils of Poynton is a novel by Henry James, first published under the title The Old Things as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly in 1896 and then as a book in 1897. This novel traces the shifting relations among three human beings and a magnificent collection of art, decorative arts, and furniture arrayed like jewels in a country house called Poynton. Mrs. Gereth, a widow of impeccable taste and iron will, formed the collection over decades only to have it torn away from her when her son Owen decides to marry a frivolous woman. The story is largely told from the viewpoint of Fleda Vetch, a keenly intelligent young woman of straitened circumstances who, shortly after becoming the intimate friend and companion of Mrs. Gereth, falls in love with Owen. Sympathetic to Mrs. Gereth's anguish over losing the fine things she patiently collected, Fleda shuttles between the estranged mother and son, becoming ever more involved in their affairs.
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original title: The Spoils of Poynton
date of publication: 1897
genre: novel

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