The Portrait of a Lady

by Henry James

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The Portrait of a Lady is regarded as Henry James’s finest work of psychological realism. the novel is an eloquent work of literature realizing the distance between happiness and money.Set in Europe, the Portrait of a Lady is the story of a beautiful, strong-willed young American woman, Isabel Archer, who upon her father’s death is brought to Europe by her wealthy aunt Mrs. Touchett. it is assumed that Isabela will soon marry, but instead the penniless girl inherits a large amount of money and chooses to enjoy her freedom. She turns down two eligible suitors but eventually gets drawn to Gilbert Osmond. Osmond is cultured, charming and a fortune hunter and sees Isabella as a trophy to be coveted..Would Isabella leave Osmond on realizing his decadence or would she succumb to her destiny. with this story of intense heartbreak, Henry James created one of his most brilliant and timeless heroines.

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Genre, Biography

About The Author

Henry James was born in New York on April 15, 1843. the most conscientious of artists, his motive for writing lay in the impulse to represent those things in life that roused his owninterest and curiosity, making no concession to“what the public wants.” His fiction began with Watch and Ward (1871), a Passionate Pilgrim (1875), Roderick Hudson (1875) and theAmerican (1877). with his novella Daisy Miller, he reached a larger public in 1878. thePortrait of a Lady, agreed upon as his masterpiece, appeared in 1881 when he was at the height of his powers. James was also a critic of exquisite taste. His non-fiction works include, French Poets and Novelist (1878), Life of Hawthorne (1879), Partial Portraits (1888) and the Lesson ofBalzac (1905). His gift for conveying the special flavor and distinction of places found expression in several volumes of impressions of travel, such as Portraits of Places (1884), a Little Tour in France (1884) and the American Scene (1906). He died in London in 1916 at the age of seventy-two.

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