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The Portrait of a Lady Summary
Henry James

Everything you need to understand or teach The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James.

  • The Portrait of a Lady Summary & Study Guide
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The Portrait of a Lady Summary

Introduction

Henry James was an established author when The Portrait of a Lady was published. The novel was first published serially in 1880 and 1881, appearing in Macmillan's Magazine in England and in Atlantic in the United States. The first book edition was published in 1881.

The Portrait of a Lady was widely, and mostly favorably, reviewed. Some reviewers recognized it immediately as James's most important novel thus far, and a few called it a masterpiece. Both of these opinions have been affirmed as time has passed. Many scholars consider The Portrait of a Lady one of the greatest novels in modern literature. Its heroine, Isabel Archer, is widely considered one of James's most powerful characters.

The Portrait of a Lady is, above all, Isabel's story. Following the technique of Russian author Ivan Turgenev, James makes Isabel the axis around which the story revolves. All the story's events, and all the other characters...

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The Portrait of a Lady Study Guide

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