The Portrait of a Lady

Front Cover
Wordsworth Editions, 1996 - Fiction - 500 pages
6 Reviews
"The Portrait of a Lady" is the most stunning achievement of Henry James's early period--in the 1860s and '70s when he was transforming himself from a talented young American into a resident of Europe, a citizen of the world, and one of the greatest novelists of modern times. A kind of delight at the success of this transformation informs every page of this masterpiece. Isabel Archer, a beautiful, intelligent, and headstrong American girl newly endowed with wealth and embarked in Europe on a treacherous journey to self-knowledge, is delineated with a magnificence that is at once casual and tense with force and insight. The characters with whom she is entangled--the good man and the evil one, between whom she wavers, and the mysterious witchlike woman with whom she must do battle--are each rendered with a virtuosity that suggests dazzling imaginative powers. And the scene painting--in England and Italy--provides a continuous visual pleasure while always remaining crucial to the larger drama.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - snash - LibraryThing

A Portrait of a Lady is in reality a portrait of 10 or 12 people. They are all so carefully drawn with their strengths and their foibles. Each of them seem to live compromised lives, lives compromised ... Read full review

Review: The Portrait of a Lady

User Review  - Goodreads

Henry James was a bottom. With this apercu in mind, you needn't get fussed up as to why Isabel Archer returns to Osmond. ~~ With the exception of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's illuminating criticism ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
17
Section 3
31
Section 4
38
Section 5
54
Section 6
75
Section 7
118
Section 8
148
Section 17
293
Section 18
307
Section 19
323
Section 20
333
Section 21
343
Section 22
354
Section 23
361
Section 24
372

Section 9
154
Section 10
167
Section 11
194
Section 12
222
Section 13
233
Section 14
264
Section 15
271
Section 16
287
Section 25
393
Section 26
446
Section 27
465
Section 28
474
Section 29
481
Section 30
489
Section 31
501
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Henry James, American novelist and literary critic, was born in 1843 in New York City. Psychologist-philosopher William James was his brother. By the age of 18, he had lived in France, England, Switzerland, Germany, and New England. In 1876, he moved to London, having decided to live abroad permanently. James was a prolific writer; his writings include 22 novels, 113 tales, 15 plays, approximately 10 books of criticism, and 7 travel books. His best-known works include Daisy Miller, The Turn of the Screw, The Portrait of a Lady, The Ambassadors, and The American Scene. His works of fiction are elegant and articulate looks at Victorian society; while primarily set in genteel society, James subtlely explores class issues, sexual repression, and psychological distress. Henry James died in 1916 in London. The James Memorial Stone in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, commemorates him.

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