Intelligent, beautiful and vivacious, Isabel Archer fascinates and intimidates the elite society of Albany, New York. Fiercely protective of her independence, she travels to England with her aunt to escape a persistent suitor but, upon inheriting a considerable fortune, falls into the sway of the devious Mrs Merle who whisks her off to Italy. There she is seduced by the narcissistic Gilbert Osmond, an art collector who will stop at nothing to possess her, and whose connection to Mrs Merle is shrouded in mystery.
Widely accepted as Henry James' great masterpiece, The Portrait of a Lady is a poignant and intense exploration of freedom and identity.
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About the Author
Henry James was born in New York in 1843 and was educated in Europe and America. He left Harvard Law School in 1863, after a year's attendance, to concentrate on writing, and from 1869 he began to make prolonged visits to Europe, eventually settling in England in 1876. His literary output was prodigious and of the highest quality: more than ten outstanding novels, including The Portrait of a Lady and The American; countless novellas and short stories; as well as innumerable essays, letters, and other pieces of critical prose. Known by contemporary fellow novelists as 'the Master', James died in Kensington, London, in 1916.