James's subtle mastery of the art of fiction is nowhere more evident than in The Beast in the Jungle, regarded by many as his greatest achievement in short fiction, a gripping portrait of a man alienated from life and love. The author's uncanny ability to communicate the inner lives of his characters is also richly evident in The Jolly Corner and The Altar of the Dead, two superbly crafted tales that explore the complex interlacings of loss, love, and the ever-present past in the lives of their protagonists. Note. Original Dover (1993) selection of three stories reprinted unabridged from Vol. 17 of the New York Edition of Henry James's works published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1909.