Visit the Special Collections exhibit: Dr. Paul Delany Donation of Works by Henry James

Three books by Henry James stacked on top of each other vertically. The Ambassadors (bound in red) is on the bottom. Portrait of a Lady (bound in green) lies on top of the former. The top book is The Wheel of Time and other Stories (bound in blue).
View first and early editions of books by Henry James, on display at the entrance to Special Collections, on the 7th floor of the W.A.C. Bennett Library.

About the exhibit

Special Collections and Rare Books is pleased to have recently acquired a collection of 55 first and early editions of books by the American-British writer Henry James (1843-1916).

Simon Fraser University Special Collections and Rare Books book plate, bearing Paul Delany's donor information
Dr. Paul Delany's book plates

Henry James

Regarded by many as one of the greatest novelists in the English language, Henry James is seen as a key transitional figure between literary realism and modernism.

New York-born, he was the son of the American theologian Henry James, Sr., and the brother of renowned philosopher and psychologist William James and the diarist Alice James.

Donor Paul Delany

The collection was kindly donated by Dr. Paul Delany, SFU professor emeritus of English, a widely published literary scholar. Dr. Delany came to SFU in 1970 with a PhD from University of California, Berkeley, and enjoyed a long and distinguished career at SFU until his retirement in 2004.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours and is a fellow both of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Canada.

His publications include biographies and critical studies of George Gissing, Rupert Brooke, D.H. Lawrence and various other literary figures, as well as books on the relation of literature to commerce, literature and hypermedia.


Two copies of The Ambassadors stacked on top of each other on a wooden table.The one on the bottom is bound in dark red and the one on the top is bound in light red. Both have gold text and embellishment.
Two editions of of James' The Ambassadors

What's on display

The exhibit includes a selection of the material donated by Paul Delany, and is supplemented by other James volumes held in SCRB's Rare Book collection.

The exhibit describes James' works that engage with themes of feminism, personal freedom, the theatre, differences between the New and Old World, and decadence and corruption in English fin de siècle life.


Close up detail of four books on a wooden table. Two copies of The Awkward Age (one bound in brown and one bound in blue) and The Ambassadors (one bound in dark red and one bound in light red).
Early editions of James' The Ambassadors and The Awkward Age

Now available to researchers

The entirety of Dr. Paul Delany's collection is now catalogued and available to researchers in Special Collections.

After the exhibit, readers may consult these titles in the Special Collections and Rare Books reading room (Room 7100)


November 2 - December 31
7th floor, W.A.C. Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby)
Contact for further information
Andréa Tarnawsky at
Special Collections and Rare Books at