The Portrait of a Lady
The Portrait of a Lady
Book for October 2015
Group 3

The Portrait of a Lady, first published in 1881, is the story of a spirited young American woman, Isabel Archer, who inherits a large amount of money and and becomes the victim of Machiavellian scheming by two American expatriates. The novel is set in Europe, mostly England and Italy. It reflects James's continuing interest in the differences between the New World and the Old, often to the detriment of the former. It treats the themes of personal freedom, responsibility, and betrayal.

Ebook copies are here: Henry James on Project Gutenberg

About the Author
Henry James

Henry James, born 15 April 1843 in New York City, is regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. James settled in London, England, where he lived until his death on 28 February 1916, becoming a British subject one year before. He is best known for a number of novels showing Americans encountering Europe and Europeans. His method of writing from the point of view of a character within a tale allows him to explore issues related to consciousness and perception, his style in later works has been compared to impressionist painting. James was also an important literary critic.

Other books we've read by the same author:

The Ambassadors