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Henry James

The Portrait of a Lady — Volume 1

The Portrait of a Lady is the story of a spirited young American woman, Isabel Archer, who in “affronting her destiny”, finds it overwhelming. She inherits a large amount of money and subsequently becomes the victim of Machiavellian scheming by two American expatriates. Like many of James's novels, it is set in Europe, mostly England and Italy. Generally regarded as the masterpiece of James's early period, this novel reflects James's continuing interest in the differences between the New World and the Old, often to the detriment of the former. It also treats in a profound way the themes of personal freedom, responsibility, and betrayal.
423 printed pages

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Quotes

    enayhas quoted8 years ago
    To live in such a place was, for Isabel, to hold to her ear all day a shell of the sea of the past.

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