Many critics believe that Henry James’s adoption of dictation while writing What Maisie Knew caused the emergence of his convoluted later style. Yet, instead of an abrupt style shift when he began dictating, his style shows a strong chronological evolution throughout his career. Analyses of the novels that precede and follow What Maisie Knew, of the novel itself, of the dialogue and narration taken separately, and of his handwritten and dictated letters show that the progressive change in James’s style is durable in the face of his change in mode of composition—the change itself is durable.