Author(s): Henry James
When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American is brought to Europe by her wealthy aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to enjoy the freedom that her fortune has opened up and to determine her own fate, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. It is only when she finds herself irresistibly drawn to the cultivated but worthless Gilbert Osmond that she discovers that wealth is a two-edged sword and that there is a price to be paid for independence. With its subtle delineation of American characters in a European setting, Portrait of a Lady is one of the most accomplished and popular of Henry James's early novels.
Born in New York of Irish and Scottish ancestry and educated in New York, London and Paris, Henry James is best known for his cosmopolitan and often haunting portraits of European and American life. He was also a prolific writer of literary criticism and shorter fiction. James settled in England in 1876, where he spent most of the rest of his life and completed his best-known work. Geoffrey Moore was General Editor for the works of Henry James in Penguin Patricia Crick teaches Modern Languages