Watch and Ward is a short novel by Henry James, first published as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly in 1871 and later as a book in 1878. This was James' first attempt at a novel, though he virtually disowned the book later in life. James was still in his apprentice stage as a writer, and Watch and Ward shows predictable immaturity. It's an odd, sometimes melodramatic tale of how protagonist Roger Lawrence adopts an orphaned twelve-year-old girl, Nora Lambert, and raises her as his eventual bride-to-be. But complications ensue, sometimes in a bizarre manner. James later called Roderick Hudson (1875) his first novel instead of Watch and Ward. Wealthy and leisured Roger Lawrence adopts twelve-year-old Nora Lambert after her father kills himself in the hotel room next to Lawrence's. Roger had refused financial assistance to the man, and he feels remorse. Nora is not a pretty child but she soon starts to develop, as does Roger's idea of eventually marrying her.