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Eugenia, an American expatriate brought up in Europe, arrives in rural New England with her charming brother Felix, hoping to find a wealthy second husband after the collapse of her marriage to a German prince. Their exotic, sophisticated airs cause quite a stir with their affluent, God-fearing American cousins, the Wentworths and provoke the disapproval of their father, suspicious of foreign influences. The arrival of the frivolous, handsome Felix is especially enchanting to Gertrude Wentworth, who is struggling against her sombre puritan upbringing. One of Henry James's most optimistic novels, The Europeans (1878) is a subtle and gently ironic examination of manners and morals, deftly portraying the impact of Old World experience on New World innocence. [via]