Henry James (1843 - 1916) was one of the leaders in the school of realism in fiction. He is known for his series of novels in which he portrayed the encounter of America with Europe. James is considered to be the master of the novel and novella. James wrote about personal relationships and the power within these relationships. James explored consciousness and perception from the point of view of a character within a tale. The Diary of a Man of Fifty begins in April of 1874. After 25 years in the military a man returns to Florence where he ponders his life. He is haunted by memories of a love affair that took place on the banks of the Amo River. When he tries to find out what happened to his love he meets a young man in amorous pursuit of her daughter. Should he tell this younger man his story or would that be the wrong action to take?