Henry James

The Portrait of a Lady

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The American lady in the title of this masterpiece, Isabel Archer; beautiful, young and spirited, visits her wealthy relatives in England, rejects marriage proposals by two more or less worthy suitors, inherits a fortune and then is manipulated into marriage to one of the most cruel creatures imaginable: Gilbert Osmond...This is just scratching the surface of this colossal, monumental work; so rich in both its prose, its characters and its many, many themes. A few of the major ones being love, death, personal responsibility, personal identity, freedom, ethics or (lack thereof) and the New world versus the Old world. This work (its story takes place mostly in England and Italy) finds new admirers from generation to generation...


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