Just about every single school-age child has read at least one novel by Henry James. Everyone remembers and has a favorite novel in James’ oeuvre. Fewer people realize that James, and his father, also wrote a story book and that James actually pitched it to Henry the Younger himself. It was not accepted.
On July 14, 1839, Henry James wrote to his son, ‘A Novel’. The novel became a bestseller. At some point in the past, Henry James sold the story book but kept the pitch, which was described in a letter from Charles Kingsley to his cousin Mary Cooke as ‘a most splendid and amusing story of literary merit, which will be a wonder book, as it deals with all the high intellectual feelings of children.’