The Portrait of a Lady

The Portrait of a Lady (1881) chronicles the life of a young American woman named Isabel Archer, independent and spirited, but she sometimes finds herself overwhelmed. Though she is an American, the story takes place mainly in England and Italy. After she inherits a great fortune, two American expatriates scheme to acquire it. The story line provides plenty of room for James to incorporate what became familiar themes in his work: contrasts between the old world and new world, class differences, personal freedom and responsibility, as well as loyalty, trust and betrayal.

The Portrait of a Lady was serialized in both The Atlantic Monthly and Macmillan's Magazine in 1880-1881 before being published as novel in 1881. [Painting by John Singer Sargent, Violet's morning walk, 1888.]

The Portrait of a Lady, 1881
Table of Contents


Volume One

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII

Chapter XIV

Chapter XV

Chapter XVI

Chapter XVII

Chapter XVIII

Chapter XIX

Chapter XX

Chapter XXI

Chapter XXII

Chapter XXIII

Chapter XXIV

Chapter XXV

Chapter XXVI

Chapter XXVII

Volume Two

Chapter XXVIII

Chapter XXIX

Chapter XXX

Chapter XXXI

Chapter XXXII

Chapter XXXIII

Chapter XXXIV

Chapter XXXV

Chapter XXXVI

Chapter XXXVII


Chapter XXXIX

Chapter XL

Chapter XLI

Chapter XLII

Chapter XLIII

Chapter XLIV

Chapter XLV

Chapter XLVI

Chapter XLVII

Chapter XLVIII

Chapter XLIX

Chapter L

Chapter LI

Chapter LII

Chapter LIII

Chapter LIV

Chapter LV

Return to the Henry James library.

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