Fairly recently I read my second novel by the classic author Henry James. I’d already read The Turn of the Screw whilst in University, so was very happy when I discovered that I also enjoyed Washington Square, one of his other short novels. Feeling spurred on I decided to bite the bullet and delve into the final Henry James book that I currently owned, and the book that is arguably viewed as his most impressive work; The Portrait of a Lady.
Coming in at a pretty hefty 600 pages, this chunky novel focuses upon the young character of Isabel Archer. Beautiful and spirited, Isabel travels to England to begin her tour of the world with her Aunt and her ailing cousin, Ralph, but when she comes into a wealthy fortune the rules have suddenly changed for her. Now she can afford the freedom that money brings, something an unmarried woman would not normally have, but when suitors begin to stake their claim upon Isabel’s feelings, will she be able to see their true motives?