On 17 June 1976 a memorial stone for Henry James, American born novelist, was unveiled in Poets’ Corner Westminster Abbey by his great grand-nephew. The inscription is in white letters on a black marble stone and reads:
“HENRY JAMES O.M. Novelist. New York 1843.London 1916”
The stone adjoins those of T.S.Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Lewis Carroll. Henry was born on 15 April 1843 in New York City, a son of Henry James and his wife Mary (Walsh). For a short time he attended Harvard law school and was exempted from service in the American Civil War due to poor health. In 1864 he published his first short story. In Paris he worked for the New York Tribune and then moved to London. He later lived at Lamb House, Rye, Sussex and his house is now owned by the National Trust. Washington Square, The Portrait of a Lady and The Ambassadors are well known novels and his short stories include ‘The Aspern Papers’ and ‘The Turn of the Screw’. In 1915 he was naturalized British and was appointed to the Order of Merit in the following year. He died on 28 February 1916 and was cremated by his own wish and his ashes were buried in the family plot at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
A photograph of the memorial can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.