The novel comes from what is called James’s ‘late period’. The writing is mannered, baroque, complex, and focused intently on the psychological relationships between his characters. There is very little ‘plot’ here in the conventional sense. Much of the interest in the narrative is centred on the limitations of the principal character, from whose point of view the story is told. Lambert Strether is a morally upright, middle-aged American who feels that life has passed him by. He wants to do the right thing, but finds himself somewhat out of his depth when he visits Paris – which Walter Benjamin called ‘the capital of the nineteenth century’. In general, The Ambassadors describes a visit to Europe in the early 20th century by Americans to find and retrieve a „wayward” family member, and the complex cross-cultural interactions between the Americans and the Europeans.