Book Review

The Portrait of a Lady

Henry James

The story, set in the 1899s, is of a young American who comes into money and woman travels in Europe. She resists two rich suitors but marries a controlling man who is after her money.

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James’s focus is on the psychology of the characters. These are built subtly. He also brilliantly observes and portrays the different social mores of the old world and the new.
 It is a late Victorian novel so it is long and formal and some of the group found it too cumbersome, while others really enjoyed the slow building of tension and foreboding.
There were only four off us so the average score of 4 disguises the spread of feelings about it.