Henry James was an American writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. James contributed significantly to the criticism of fiction, particularly in his insistence that writers be allowed the greatest possible freedom in presenting their view of the world. His imaginative use of point of view, interior monologue and possibly unreliable narrators in his own novels and tales brought a new depth and interest to narrative fiction. An extraordinarily productive writer, in addition to his voluminous works of fiction he published articles and books of travel, biography, autobiography, and criticism, and wrote plays, some of which were performed during his lifetime with moderate success. His theatrical work is thought to have profoundly influenced his later novels and tales.