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The Portrait of a Lady By Henry James (Summary, Book Review, Online Reading, PDF, Download)

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Author Henry James
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Publisher Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, Boston
Macmillan and Co., London
Publication date
29 October 1881 (Houghton)
16 November 1881 (Macmillan)
Media type Print (hardback and paperback)
Pages Houghton: 520
Macmillan: volume one, 266; volume two, 253; volume three, 248

Summary: The Portrait of a Lady is a novel by Henry James, first published as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly and Macmillan's Magazine in 1880–81 and then as a book in 1881. It is one of James's most popular long novels and is regarded by critics as one of his finest.The Portrait of a Lady is the story of a spirited young American woman, Isabel Archer, who, in "confronting 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.