"Like his hero Henry James, Nick felt that he could 'stand a great deal of gilt'."
Henry James in 1910
Public DomainHenry James in 1910 - Credit: Bain News Service

 Henry James (1843-1916) was an American-born novelist, short story writer, biographer, literary critic and playwright.  He was particularly prolific in his production of novels, novellas, and short stories. Amongst his best known works are The American (1877), Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), What Maisie Knew (1897), The Turn of the Screw (1898), The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904). Having settled in London in 1868, James became a naturalised British subject in 1915. He was the brother of psychologist and philosopher William James.

Whilst standing in an exceptionally gilded drawing room, Henry James is reputed to have said to Desmond MacCarthy in 1901, 'I can stand a great deal of gold' (see p.646  of Henry James: A Life by Leon Edel).

 

Henry James on Book Drum