G. P. R. James

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This entry is a discussion of the life, works, and critical reception of Victorian historian and novelist George Payne Rainsford James (1799–1860). The entry follows James's career from his early successes and association with Sir Walter Scott to his most popular period in the 1840s and his decline in popularity in the 1850s. Also reviewed are his relationships with fellow novelists William Harrison Ainsworth and William Makepeace Thackeray and his 1850 relocation to the United States, where he served for nearly a decade as British consul. A brief account is provided of critical treatments of his work during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.