Note: this concerns only Washington Square.
I can't begin to explain how annoying it is when an author makes his protagonist nothing. Virtually every time James describes Catherine in the first third of the book, it is through negation: she isn't this, she wasn't that. Why do I care? I can't relate to a person who is merely not this and not that. I can't understand why anyone likes this novel. It's fascinating that such a terrible mistake gets overlooked. Dreck.