The portrait of a lady everymans library by henry james find e bays best deals!
The Portrait of a Lady (Everymans
Library) by Henry James
"Money's A Horrid Thing To Follow, But A Charming Thing To Meet."
The Portrait of a Lady is the most stunning achievement of Henry Jamess
early period--in the 1860s and 70s when he was transforming himself from
a talented young American into a resident of Europe, a citizen of the world,
and one of the greatest novelists of modern times. A kind of delight at the
success of this transformation informs every page of this masterpiece.
Isabel Archer, a beautiful, intelligent, and headstrong American girl newly
endowed with wealth and embarked in Europe on a treacherous journey to
self-knowledge, is delineated with a magnificence that is at once casual
and tense with force and insight. The characters with whom she is
entangled--the good man and the evil one, between whom she wavers,
and the mysterious witchlike woman with whom she must do battle--are
each rendered with a virtuosity that suggests dazzling imaginative powers.
And the scene painting--in England and Italy--provides a continuous visual
pleasure while always remaining crucial to the larger drama.
* ISBN13: 9780679405627
* Condition: NEW
* Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.
Personal Review: The Portrait of a Lady (Everymans Library) by
When Isabel Archer, a bright and independent young American, makes her
first trip to Europe in the company of her aunt, Mrs. Touchett, who lives
outside of London in a 400-year-old estate, she discovers a totally different
world, one which does not encourage her independent thinking or behavior
and which is governed by rigid social codes. This contrast between
American and European values, vividly dramatized here, is a consistent
theme in James's novels, one based on his own experiences living in the
US and England. In prose that is filled with rich observations about places,
customs, and attitudes, James portrays Isabel's European coming-of-age,
as she discovers that she must curb her intellect and independence if she
is to fit into the social scheme in which she now finds herself.
Isabel Archer, one of James's most fully drawn characters, has postponed
a marriage in America for a year of travel abroad, only to discover upon
her precipitate and ill-considered marriage to an American living in
Florence, that it is her need to be independent that makes her marriage a
disaster. Gilbert Osmond, an American art collector living in Florence,
marries Isabel for the fortune she has inherited from her uncle, treating her
like an object d'art which he expects to remain "on the shelf." Madame
Serena Merle, his long-time lover, is, like Osmond, an American whose
venality and lack of scruples have been encouraged, if not developed, by
the European milieu in which they live.
James packs more information into one paragraph than many writers do in
an entire chapter. Distanced and formal, he presents psychologically
realistic characters whose behavior is a direct outgrowth of their
upbringing, with their conflicts resulting from the differences between their
expectations and the reality of their changed settings. The subordinate
characters, Ralph Touchett, Pansy Osmond, her suitor Edward Rosier,
American journalist Henrietta Stackpole, Isabel's former suitor Caspar
Stackpole, and Lord Warburton, whose love of Isabel leads hi m to court
Pansy, are as fascinating psychologically and as much a product of their
own upbringing as is Isabel.
As the setting moves from America to England, Paris, Florence, and
Rome, James develops his themes, and as Isabel's life becomes more
complex, her increasingly difficult and emotionally affecting choices about
her life make her increasingly fascinating to the reader. James's trenchant
observations about the relationship between individuals and society and
about the effects of one's setting on one's behavior are enhanced by the
elegance and density of his prose, making this a novel one must read
slowly--and savor. Mary Whipple
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