Live all you can; it's a mistake not to, declares the primary ambassador of this 1903 novel, adding, It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that, what have you had? In this complex tale of self-discovery, Henry James invokes his favorite theme: the clash of American innocence with European experience. It traces the path of an aging idealist, Lambert Strether, who arrives in Paris intending to persuade his young charge to abandon an obsession with a French woman and return home. Once abroad, however, Strether arrives at unexpected conclusions. Henry James regarded The Ambassadors as his finest work. Astute, humorous, and intelligent, this masterpiece from the pinnacle of the author's long and brilliant career remains ever vital.