Farsighted Catherine Barber James, Granny of Henry.
“Henry James the novelist added in his autobiography of the day to the portrait of Catherine Barber James (his granny) — She had a passion for the “fiction of the day” — novels by Mrs Trollope, Mrs Gore, Mrs Marsh, Mrs Hubback, Miss Kavanagh, Miss Aguilar. And she had a habit of disappearing from a room full of grandchildren into a corner with her novel to sit, bent forward at her table, with the book held out at a distance and a candle placed directly between it and her farsighted eyes. ”
Alice James, A Biography by Jean Strouse (NYRB Classics)
From the NYRB Classics website:
“Alice James was a fascinating and exceptional figure in her own right. Tormented throughout her short life by an array of nervous disorders, constrained by social convention and internal conflict from achieving the worldly success she desired, Alice was nonetheless a vivid, witty writer, an acute social observer, and as alert, inquiring, and engaging a person as her two famous brothers.”
More about this book here