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The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
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The Portrait of a Lady (original 1881; edition 1983)

by Henry James

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,38496369 (3.9)9 / 669
Member:datrappert
Title:The Portrait of a Lady
Authors:Henry James
Info:Bantam Classics (1983), Edition: 12th, Mass Market Paperback, 656 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (1881)

  1. 71
    Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (roby72)
  2. 60
    The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (carlym)
  3. 61
    Howards End by E. M. Forster (carlym)
  4. 50
    Daniel Deronda by George Eliot (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Surprised this recommendation hasn't already been made ... scholars throughout the years have noted Gwendolen Harleth's influence upon James in creating Isabel Archer.
  5. 31
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Nickelini)
  6. 10
    Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the making of an American masterpiece by Michael Gorra (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Non-fiction work detailing the story behind the novel's writing.
  7. 10
    The Reef by Edith Wharton (noveltea)
  8. 00
    The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope (Crypto-Willobie)
  9. 01
    Indian Summer by William Dean Howells (Bjace)
    Bjace: Howells ventures into Henry James territory with this tale of an American expatriate in Florence who is caught between two women. Howells teases the reader by starting to write a Henry James ending and then doing something quite different.
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English (89)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (1)  German (1)  All (95)
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
recommended by Susan
  margaretfield | Jun 1, 2018 |
**Update**
After analyzing this book in class, and writing a seminar paper about it, I can rightly say that my previous review no longer holds true. I've come to really appreciate Henry James's writing, and concept, and execution. So 4 stars.



Okay. So this was the last classic I had to read for class this year. And in one word (or two), it was pretty weird. Especially the ending, which was astoundingly abrupt. I did enjoy the wordy writing style and throughout the book I found myself intrigued by what was going to happen, which was why the ending kind of left me hanging. But there was something almost fitting about it. I'm not sure how to explain. So I'm just going to wait for class discussion and after I'll hopefully understand better what this book was all about. ( )
  UDT | May 1, 2018 |
This was the first book I read by Henry James. I wasn't blown away but I liked it. The mix of American & British characters drew me in to the story. The timeframe was never really established. I would have liked to have known more about that to get a better sense of placement. ( )
  godmotherx5 | Apr 5, 2018 |
This was an great piece of literature. I appreciate how James didn't add too much details about the characters. We were left to come to our own conclusions regarding their minds and hearts. For example, the lack of details surrounding the characters of Merle and Osmond still left an impression that there were secrets to be learned. The same with Isabel, the way James described her and transitioned her throughout the story the reader (myself) was left to conclude (on my accord) that there was a major lesson she had to learn. Some might feel a bit bummed out by the ending (I certainly was at first). However, after further reflection I came to believe that the ending is extremely hopeful. Hopeful that Isabel would make the right choice for herself and her future.
  LiteraryW | Mar 19, 2018 |
Am I the only one who was disappointed by the ending of this novel? I am left wanting and unsatisfied. Overall I enjoyed the book, although it did drag on in some parts, but I thought Isabel was a great character. I loved how she seemingly is this strong, independent individual at the beginning and then is duped by "love" and instead of admitting her choice was wrong, she lets her pride get the better of her and finds herself trapped in unhappiness. It was very reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice in regards to judging and being too prideful to back down or admit openly when you are wrong. At least Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy were able to set aside their pride and prejudice and find happiness with one another.

Now, I am off to watch the TV Movie and Movie inspired by the novel.
  jthao_02 | May 18, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (99 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henry Jamesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aiken, JoanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anderson, Charles RobertsIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cargill, OscarAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cohn, JanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edel, LeonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krüger, LoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luckhurst, RogerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGovern, ElizabethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Millett, Fred B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Millett, Fred B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, GeoffreyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neilson, William AllanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stallman, R. W.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toibin, ColmAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Updike, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
Dedication
First words
Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
Quotations
Her reputation of reading a great deal hung about her like the cloudy envelope of a goddess in an epic.
It may be affirmed without delay that Isabel was probably very liable to the sin of self-esteem....
You are rich when you can meet the demands of your imagination.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439637, Paperback)

When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American, is brought to Europe by her wealthy Aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to determine her own fate, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. She then finds herself irresistibly drawn to Gilbert Osmond, who, beneath his veneer of charm and cultivation, is cruelty itself. A story of intense poignancy, Isabel's tale of love and betrayal still resonates with modern audiences.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:27 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Tells of the psychological impact of European culture upon a spirited young American girl named Isabel Archer when she becomes torn between three very different men and falls prey to the schemes of a sophisticated older woman.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 37 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441267, 0141199121

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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