In his international novels, Henry James builds the image of England through the eyes of the American characters that travel in this country. London is the perfect setting for his international novels, as it becomes an integral part of the person or the action he is narrating.
In his international novels, Henry James used the idea of innocence and loss of innocence in connection to his American characters, especially American girls, as opposed to the personality of the Europeans. He explored the differences between the two civilizations and the effect that these have on the identity of the innocent coming from the New World. Being presented by the author as childlike, unaware human beings, Henry James’s heroines come to Europe to learn something of ‘life’, but they can’t preserve their innocence as they are forced to recognize that the world is ambiguous, divided. Their drama is a result of their resistance to acknowledging the foreignness of the Other.