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Publisher's Summary

Civility and society come head to head in Henry James’ seminal work.

The heroine of this powerful novel is the spirited young American Isabel Archer. Blessed by nature and fortune, she journeys to Europe to seek her future, but what she finds may prove to be her undoing. She is courted by three men: an English aristocrat, an American gentleman, and a sensitive expatriate. Her invalid cousin becomes her benefactor and adviser.

But it is after the ingenuous Isabel falls prey to the schemes of an infinitely more sophisticated older woman that her life takes shape. Rich in character and the interplay of tensions, The Portrait of a Lady is a brilliant, timeless, and essential American novel.

This novel is part of Brilliance Audio's extensive Classic Collection, bringing you timeless masterpieces that you and your family are sure to love.

Public Domain (P)1998 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

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  • BHMMary
  • Birmingham, Al United States
  • 02-16-18

Great book.

I know this is a classic and my comments will be "duh" for the truly educated...but for the rest of us...

I decided to listen to/read this book for the first time in preparation for a bookclub selection of Mrs. Osmond. James' narrative style takes a little getting used to but the effort is rewarding. His scenes are captivating and characterizations are powerful. For me, this novel became a page turner with a plot that was engaging. Do not waste ANY time on Mrs. Osmond.
The narrator did not have a British accent which was important to me because the main character is an American. When the storyline and prose are wonderful, I tend to pay less attention to narrative style and forget any initial bothersome quirks of the reading.