The Portrait of a Lady is the pinnacle of American psychological realism, one of the greatest works written in English.
A young American lady, Isabel Archer, a delicate, passionate and sensual woman, suddenly gets a big inheritance after her uncle’s death. As a result, she acquires the priceless right to be independent and manage her own life, which is a rare privilege for a girl in the 19th century. Refusing two very advantageous marriage proposals from a rich American manufacturer, and an English Lord, Isabel decides to look at the world, to make their own conclusions about it.
During her visit to Florence, she couldn’t find the strength to refuse the aristocrat Gilbert Osmond, a poor but greedy artist who lives as a recluse. His declaration of love touches her to the depths of her soul. But marriage only confirms and far exceeds her worst expectations. Gilbert married her only to ensure that his bastard daughter’s existence was decent.
Illusions are crumbling, there is no hope of happiness, but Isabel has the courage to endure all her troubles.