Michael Gorra at The Millions:
The little charmer published this month as The Daily Henry James first appeared as The Henry James Yearbook in 1911, bound in a deep burgundy cloth and with a typeface that matched that of the great New York Edition of James’s works, an edition that had finished its run only two years before. It offers a quotation for each day of the year, many of them apposite to the season though none of them obvious, taken from the full range of James’s production, the criticism and travel writing as well as the novels and tales.
The book was put out by the Gorham Press, a Boston publisher that, as a Harvard website delicately puts it, produced its things “at their authors’ expense.” We’d probably call it a vanity press, but in James’s day such books were usually described as having been privately printed, a category that included not only the work of his own father but even such classics as The Education of Henry Adams. Not that the Henry James Yearbook stayed private. H.L. Mencken noticed it in The Smart Set, reviewing it alongsideJoseph Conrad’s Under Western Eyes, and in 1912 the English firm of J.M. Dent brought out a trade edition, using sheets imported from Boston.
And then the book more or less vanished. A few older works of criticism list it in their bibliographies, and a small press in Pennsylvania reissued it in 1970. But no scholar has ever paid it much attention, and for decades it survived in the only way that forgotten books do survive: undisturbed in the stacks.