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Author:  Henry James Afterword:  Stephen Koch
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The Portrait of a Lady James, Henry 1 of 1
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Learn more about The Portrait of a Lady:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0553211277
ISBN-13: 9780553211276
Sku: 30098779
Publish Date: 11/1/1983
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 6.75H x 4.25L x 1.25T
Pages:  539
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Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. (from the first line)
An independent and wealthy young American woman struggles to find happiness in the liberal atmosphere of late-nineteenth-century Europe, while coping with a cruel husband. Reissue. *Author: James, Henry *Series Title: Bantam Classic *Publication Date: 1983/11/01 *Number of Pages: 628 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 1.25 *Width: 4.25 *Height: 6.75
From the Publisher:
Capturing the grandeur of a gracious, splendid Europe of wealth and Old World sensibilities, this glorious, complex novel has become a touchstone for a great writer's entire literary achievement. From the opening pages, when the high-spirited American girl Isabel Archer arrives at the English manor Gardencourt, James's luminous, superbly crafted prose creates an atmosphere of intensity, expectation, and incomparable beauty. Isabel, who has been taken abroad by an eccentric aunt to fulfill her potential, attracts the passions of a British aristocrat and a brash American, as well as the secret adoration of her invalid cousin, Ralph Touchett. But her vulnerability and innocence lead her not to love but to a fatal entrapment in intrigue, deception, and betrayal. This brilliant interior drama of the forming of a woman's consciousness makes THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY a masterpiece of James's middle years.When Isabel Archer, a young American woman with looks, wit, and imagination, arrives in Europe, she sees the world as 'a place of brightness, of free expression, of irresistible action'. She turns aside from suitors who offer her their wealth and devotion to follow her own path. But that way leads to disillusionment and a future as constricted as 'a dark narrow alley with a dead wall at the end'. In a conclusion that is one of the most moving in modern fiction, Isabel makes her final choice.
Annotation:
"The mere slim shade of an intelligent but presumptuous girl...a certain young woman affronting her destiny" is how Henry James describes his first perception of Isabel Archer, who grew into one of his most magnificent heroines. An American heiress newly arrived in Europe, Isabel does not look to a man to furnish her with her destiny; instead she desires, with grace and courage, to find it herself. Two eligible suitors approach her and are refused. She then becomes utterly captivated by the languid charms of Gilbert Osmond. To him, she represents a superior prize worth at least 70 thousand pounds; through him, she faces a tragic choice. The greatest of the novels of James's early period, PORTRAIT OF A LADY was deeply influenced by both Turgenev and George Eliot.
Author Bio
Henry James
Henry James was born into a wealthy Irish-American family who settled mainly in New York City's Greenwich Village and in Albany, New York, but lived and traveled extensively in Europe while Henry was growing up. Educated at a variety of schools in the U.S. and abroad, Henry spent a year at Harvard Law School, which he loathed, and used his time haunting the library and attending James Russell Lowell's lectures at Harvard College. Soon after, he began publishing short stories and reviews. When he was in his late teens, he spent much of his time on his own in Europe--chiefly England, France, and (his favorite) Italy--and, as he approached his 30s he became a virtual resident of Europe, returning to the U.S. only for brief periods. James became increasingly successful, wealthy, and respected as a writer of fiction and as a critic; his brilliantly insightful prefaces to his novels have influenced many writers. His attempts to write plays were all sad failures: To be a successful dramatist was a lifelong dream for James, but he seemed to lack the ability to dramatize action anywhere but on the printed page. In 1896 he settled at Lamb House, in Sussex, where he lived until his death in 1916. Reactions to James's work range from scorn and impatience (H. G. Wells called him "a hippopotamus resolved at any cost...upon picking up a pea") to reverence. Despite his increasing mannered and challenging style, James's work endures as great literature because of his humane sensibility, his insight into American and European culture, his moral clarity, his delicate wit, and the lucid subtlety of his language.

Product Attributes

Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Pocketbook
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0539
Product attributePublisher:   Bantam Classics
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