Taxing Chore: Happy Birthday Henry James

Edith Wharton may be getting all the buzz this year in the wake of the sesquicentennial of her birth, but it’s her friend Henry James we toast today, as he was born on this day in 1843.

It’s fitting that James’ birth shares the same day as the day for paying the IRS. Many readers find trudging through his verbose novels — where nothing ever seems to actually happen — about as exciting as doing your taxes.

Perhaps because of this, James leads a recent list of American writers who’ve had the most scholarly articles written about them, with over 3,000 since 1987 alone.

Above is the author as drawn by John Singer Sargent.