The Portrait of a Lady


by Henry James

An undisputed masterpiece, The Portrait of a Lady is arguably James’s most popular work, and certainly the finest of his early novels.

1 in stock


‘The mere slim shade of an intelligent but presumptuous girl… a certain young woman affronting her destiny’ is how Henry James describes his first perception of Isabel Archer, who grew into one of his most magnificent heroines.
When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American, is brought to Europe by her wealthy aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to enjoy her freedom, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. Then she finds herself irresistibly drawn to Gilbert Osmond. Charming and cultivated, Osmond sees Isabel as a rich prize waiting to be taken. In this portrait of a ‘young woman affronting her destiny’, Henry James created one of his most magnificent heroines, and a story of intense poignancy.
Numerous critics regard The Portrait of a Lady (1882) as James’s masterpiece. F.R. Leavis declared that ‘we can’t ask for a finer exhibition of James’s peculiar gifts’, and placed it with The Bostonians as one of ‘the two most brilliant novels in the language’.

Additional information

Book Condition

Used – Okay




688 pages


December 6, 2012 by Penguin Books, first in 1881


Fiction, Classics, Historical Fiction, Romance

Book Series

Penguin English Library

The Portrait of a Lady


1 in stock