The Portrait of a Lady
"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... show more
"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.
Publish date: September 4th 1984
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages no: 650
Edition language: English
I'm sure this is one of those books that is supposed to be studied for greater meanings, but I didn't do that. I'm so aggravated at Isabel. She had so many people in her corner and still ends up with a POS man. I love her sweet cousin.
Henry James is a difficult author to love, but an easy author to admire. Portrait of a Lady has many of the standard features of a 19th century novel. It has proposals, bad marriages, trips to exotic locations and sordid secrets. Also like many 19th century novels it is too long. James prose is ...
Well, I have to say that I finished this book the day after Back to the Future Day (which is probably not the best way to have celebrated that day, though it was quite interesting to note that my Facebook feed was flooded with news stories of how Marty McFly was arrested in multiple locations). In f...
When we first meet Isabel, she is in the prime of her youth—beautiful, irresistible to men (every male character seems to eventually fall in love with her), intelligent, poised, vibrant, hungry for life, and marching to her own drums. She has all the potential to be an exceptional woman. To remove t...
“Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” “..she was very particular about the appearance of her linen” “it (i.e. the step) had an inquisitive, experimental quality which suggested that it would not st...