Tales of Henry James: The Texts of the Stories, the Author on His Craft, Background and Criticism - The Real Thing Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 56 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Tales of Henry James.
This section contains 624 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Real Thing Summary

A distinguished gentleman and lady, Major and Mrs. Monarch, visit the main character, an unnamed illustrator. They are so well-dressed that he expects them to commission him to paint their portraits. Instead, they ask for work as artist's models. The two are obviously well-born and typical of the type that frequents country houses, not very intelligent but good, agreeable company. They insist they will make excellent models for his illustrations of the wealthy, because they are "the real thing". The illustrator reluctantly agrees to try them.

Meanwhile, he accepts an assignment to illustrate a famous book. If he is successful, he will be awarded the commission for a series of books. He uses his usual models, a freckled young cockney girl named Miss Churm and his Italian manservant, Oronte. The two are incredibly gifted. With a few changes in costume or pose, they...

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This section contains 624 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Tales of Henry James: The Texts of the Stories, the Author on His Craft, Background and Criticism Study Guide
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