The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

Written by Gracie Cooper. Posted in Books

Henry James’ novel, The Portrait of a Lady, reproduces more than the portrait and destiny of Isabel Archer, transposing the late nineteenth century ideas into an intense and powerful work.

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In the house of Touchet family, Isabel Archer knows Madame Merle, a seductive and fascinating appearance. Between Madame Merle and her young compatriot takes shape a sincere and liberating friendship for the spirit of the two, easily handcuffed on this land (England) of conventionality, conformity and modesty. And maybe this friendship could develop into a loyal friendship, if the sudden enrichment of Isabel, after the death of her uncle, would not have made ​​so much fuss. But Madame Merle was the owner of a modest fortune.

Convinced of Madame Merle, Isabelle takes a journey with her in Italy, where she meets the bizarre and demanding Gilbert Osmond, meeting that will change the path of Isabel’s life. By the end of The Portrait of a Lady, the threads rapidly unfold, and Isabel’s golden dream falls apart quickly. The curtains that were covering the plot fall one by one, and the hard and cold reality is showing its teeth yellowed by time, in a brutal and disappointingly grin in front of Isabel, Madame Merle.