The Portrait of a Lady
The Portrait of a Lady was first published as a serial in the Atlantic Monthly and Macmillan's Magazine in 1880-1881 and then as a book in 1881. It chronicles the story of beautiful, intelligent and headstrong Isabel Archer who is brought to Europe by her wealthy Aunt Touchett and is expected to enter wedlock son. But Isabel, resolved t determine her own destiny, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors who offer her their wealth and devotion. She then finds herself irresistibly drawn to Gilbert Osmond, Who, beneath his facade of charm and sophistication, is the very embodiment of cruelty. In spite of her tragic choice she survives as she begins to realize that true freedom means living with one's choices despite the consequences.Generally regarded as a masterpiece of James's early phase of writing, this novel deftly portrays the clash between the innocence and exuberance of the New World and the corruption and wisdom of the Old. It also treats in a profound way the themes of personal freedom responsibility, betrayal and sexuality.
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