The Portrait of a Lady

by

Henry James

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Gilbert Osmond Character Analysis

Father of Pansy and a friend of Madame Merle’s, antagonist Gilbert Osmond is an American expatriate living in Italy who eventually becomes Isabel Archer’s husband. Despite being American, Osmond has lived in Europe for decades and represents Old World cunning and sophistication. He lacks career prospects and spends his time collecting art for his personal prized collection. Despite having no important social status or wealth, he is able to deceive Isabel into marrying him, thereby bringing Merle’s designs for the marriage to fruition. Isabel is attracted to Osmond’s charm and his seemingly exquisite taste and sophistication as an art collector. However, after the marriage is official he reveals himself to be a selfish and dominating character who has trapped Isabel in a loveless union. His apparently sophisticated aesthetic taste is also revealed to be a sham. Osmond treats women poorly, isolating his daughter at a convent, treating Isabel as an object, and having been unfaithful to his first wife (now deceased). He furthermore craves admiration and obedience from those around him. Osmond is a villain and a direct foil to Isabel’s innocence and kindness. Overall, his deception and consequent marriage to Isabel forces her to abandon her idealism and personal freedoms for the sake of morality and social propriety.

Gilbert Osmond Quotes in The Portrait of a Lady

The The Portrait of a Lady quotes below are all either spoken by Gilbert Osmond or refer to Gilbert Osmond. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Female Independence vs. Marriage Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford edition of The Portrait of a Lady published in 2009.
Chapter 22 Quotes

The villa was a long, rather blank-looking structure […] [It’s] antique, solid, weather-worn, yet imposing front had a somewhat incommunicative character. It was the mask, not the face of the house. It had heavy lids, but no eyes; the house in reality looked another way—looked off behind, into splendid openness and the range of the afternoon light. […] The windows of the ground-floor, as you saw them from the piazza, were, in their noble proportions, extremely architectural; but their function seemed less to offer communication with the world than to defy the world to look in.

Related Characters: Isabel Archer, Gilbert Osmond
Related Symbols: Architecture
Page Number: 231
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28 Quotes

We know that he was fond of originals, of rarities, of the superior and the exquisite; and now that he had seen Lord Warburton, whom he thought a very fine example of his race and order, he perceived a new attraction of taking to himself a young lady who had qualified herself to figure in his collection of choice objects by declining so noble a hand. […] It would be proper that the woman he might marry should have done something of that sort.

Page Number: 304
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

“Is it a marriage your friends won’t like?” he demanded.

“I really haven’t an idea. As I say, I don’t marry for my friends.”

He went on, making no exclamation, no comment, only asking questions, doing it quite without delicacy. “Who and what then is Mr Gilbert Osmond?”

“Who and what? Nobody and nothing but a very good and very honourable man. He’s not in business,” said Isabel. “He’s not rich; he’s not known for anything in particular.”

Related Characters: Isabel Archer (speaker), Caspar Goodwood (speaker), Gilbert Osmond
Page Number: 327-328
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 33 Quotes

Ralph was shocked and humiliated; his calculations had been false and the person in the world in whom he was most interested was lost. He drifted about the house like a rudderless vessel in a rocky stream, or sat in the garden of the palace on a great cane chair, his long legs extended, his head thrown back and his hat pulled over his eyes. He felt cold about the heart; he had never liked anything less. What could he do, what could he say? If the girl was irreclaimable could he pretend to like it? To attempt to reclaim her was permissible only if the attempt should succeed. To try to persuade her of anything sordid or sinister in the man to whose deep art she had succumbed would be decently discreet only in the event of her being persuaded.

Page Number: 337-338
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 34 Quotes

“Pray, would you wish me to make a mercenary marriage—what they call a marriage of ambition? I’ve only one ambition—to be free to follow out a good feeling. I had others once, but they’ve passed away. Do you complain of Mr Osmond because he’s not rich? That’s just what I like him for. I’ve fortunately money enough; I’ve never felt so thankful for it as to-day. There have been moments when I should like to go and kneel down by your father’s grave: he did perhaps a better thing than he knew when he put it into my power to marry a poor man—a man who has born his poverty with such dignity, with such indifference. […] Mr. Osmond makes no mistakes! He knows everything, he understands everything, he has the kindest, gentlest, highest spirit.”

Related Characters: Isabel Archer (speaker), Ralph Touchett, Gilbert Osmond
Page Number: 345
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 35 Quotes

The elation of success, which surely now flamed high in Osmond, emitted meanwhile very little smoke for so brilliant a blaze. […] He was immensely pleased with his young lady; Madame Merle had made him a present of incalculable value. […] What could be a happier gift in a companion than a quick, fanciful mind which saved one repetitions and reflected one’s thought on a polished, elegant surface? […] this lady’s intelligence was to be a silver plate, not an earthen one—a plate that he might heap up with ripe fruits, to which it would give a decorative value, so that talk might become for him a sort of served dessert.

Related Characters: Isabel Archer, Gilbert Osmond, Madame Merle
Page Number: 349
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 36 Quotes

The object of Mr. Rosier’s well-regulated affection dwelt in a high house in the very heart of Rome; a dark and massive structure overlooking a sunny piazzetta in the neighbourhood of the Farnese Palace. In a palace, too, little Pansy lived—a palace by Roman measure, but a dungeon to poor Rosier’s apprehensive mind. It seemed to him of evil omen that the young lady he wished to marry, and whose fastidious father he doubted of his ability to conciliate, should be immured in a kind of domestic fortress […] he could see that the proportions of the windows and even the details of the cornice had quite the grand air.

Related Symbols: Architecture
Page Number: 363
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 41 Quotes

“If she should marry Lord Warburton I should be very glad,” Isabel went on frankly. “He’s an excellent man. You say, however, that she only to sit perfectly still. Perhaps she won’t sit perfectly still. If she loses Mr. Rosier she may jump up!”

Osmond appeared to give no heed to this; he sat gazing at the fire. “Pansy would like to be a great lady,” he remarked in a moment with a certain tenderness of tone. “She wishes above all to please,” he added.

Related Characters: Isabel Archer (speaker), Gilbert Osmond (speaker), Edward Rosier, Pansy Osmond
Page Number: 417
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 42 Quotes

The real offence, as she ultimately perceived, was her having a mind of her own at all. Her mind was to be his—attached to his own like a small garden-plot to a deer-park. He would take the soil gently and water the flowers; he would weed the best and gather an occasional nosegay. It would be a pretty piece of property for a proprietor already far-reaching.

Related Characters: Isabel Archer, Gilbert Osmond, Pansy Osmond
Page Number: 427
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 50 Quotes

“One’s daughter should be fresh and fair; she should be innocent and gentle. With the manners of the present time she is liable to become so dusty and crumpled. Pansy’s a little dusty, a little dishevelled; she has knocked about too much. This bustling, pushing rabble that calls itself society—one should take her out of it occasionally. Convents are very quiet, very convenient, very salutary. I like to think of her there, in the old garden, under the arcade, among those tranquil virtuous women. Many of them are gentlewomen born; several of them are noble. She will have her books and her drawing, she will have her piano. I’ve made the most liberal arrangements.”

Page Number: 524
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 52 Quotes

Isabel saw it all as distinctly as if it had been reflected in a large clear glass. It might have been a great moment for her, for it might have been a moment of triumph. That Madame Merle has lost her pluck and saw before her the phantom of exposure—this in itself was a revenge, this in itself was almost the promise of a brighter day.

Page Number: 545
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 54 Quotes

“She made a convenience of me.”

“Ah,” cried Mrs. Touchett, “so she did of me! She does of every one.”

Related Characters: Isabel Archer (speaker), Mrs. Touchett (speaker), Gilbert Osmond, Madame Merle
Page Number: 564
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 55 Quotes

“Why shouldn’t we be happy—when it’s here before us, when it’s so easy? I’m yours for ever—for ever and ever. Here I stand; I’m as firm as a rock. What have you to care about? You’ve no children; that perhaps would be an obstacle. As it is you’ve nothing to consider. You must save what you can of your life; you mustn’t lose it all simply because you’ve lost a part. It would be an insult to you to assume that you care for the look of the thing, for what people will say, for the bottomless idiocy of the world. We’ve nothing to do with all that; we’re quite out of it; we look at things as they are. You took the great step in coming away; the next is nothing; it’s the natural one.”

Related Characters: Caspar Goodwood (speaker), Isabel Archer, Gilbert Osmond
Page Number: 580
Explanation and Analysis:
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Gilbert Osmond Character Timeline in The Portrait of a Lady

The timeline below shows where the character Gilbert Osmond appears in The Portrait of a Lady. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 19
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...example, suggesting that he is simply “idle,” although not as idle as her friend Gilbert Osmond. Osmond is an American in Italy who is devoted to his only daughter (Pansy) but... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Inside the Florence house are two nuns, a gentleman (later revealed as Osmond) and a young girl (later revealed as Pansy). Luxurious artworks, books, and furnishings litter the... (full context)
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...to the point of tears when Madame Merle instructs her to wait with her while Pansy’s father shows the sisters out. Madame Merle asks Pansy if she will miss Madame Catherine, who... (full context)
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Pansy’s father, Gilbert Osmond, returns to the room. Osmond and Merle talk to one another about Pansy and her... (full context)
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Osmond sends Pansy outside to pick flowers for Madame Merle, which the young girl happily agrees... (full context)
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...has come to Florence not only to see Pansy, but to present an opportunity to Osmond. She wants him to meet Isabel, who is also currently in Florence. He does not... (full context)
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Osmond tells Madame Merle that she looks well, recognizing this is likely the result of her... (full context)
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Osmond checks again with Madame Merle whether Isabel is wealthy. He then agrees to meet Isabel,... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...in Florence. Merle makes sure to tell Isabel she has spoken about her to Gilbert Osmond, although gives no indication of her secret hope that she desires to one day see... (full context)
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Gilbert Osmond visits at Mrs. Touchett’s Florence home. Isabel barely takes part in group conversation. She does... (full context)
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...Merle blushes with embarrassment at Isabel’s unexpected displeasure, but says she thought that Isabel liked Osmond. (full context)
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Isabel asks Ralph what he knows about Gilbert Osmond. Ralph can only say that he is a mysterious American who has lived in Italy... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Isabel accompanies Madame Merle to Gilbert Osmond’s house. Osmond, Pansy, and the Countess Gemini, Osmond’s sister, are all present. Isabel finds Pansy... (full context)
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While Madame Merle and the Countess Gemini walk through the garden, Osmond draws Isabel into conversation with Pansy nearby. He asks her what she thinks of the... (full context)
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Osmond and Isabel also discuss the topic of art, with Isabel impressed by Osmond’s cultured aesthetic... (full context)
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Osmond asks Isabel is she will visit him at the villa again. She agrees to do... (full context)
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Osmond and Isabel wander outside to join Madame Merle and the Countess Gemini. Osmond reveals that... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Madame Merle and the Countess Gemini converse in the garden while Osmond and Isabel talk inside. The Countess has guessed at Merle’s designs for Osmond and Isabel... (full context)
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Pansy is earnest in her desire to please her father, Osmond, by making tea for the group, which Madame Merle considers and agrees to. The Countess... (full context)
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When Pansy leaves to offer Osmond and Isabel some tea, the Countess Gemini asks Madame Merle if she is planning on... (full context)
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...the enchanting Isabel up for a dismal marriage to her devious brother. She knows that Osmond is a difficult man to please, and she “trembles for [Isabel’s] happiness!” (full context)
Chapter 26
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Gilbert Osmond has visited Mrs. Touchett’s Florence home five times in just two weeks, which is a... (full context)
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Mrs. Touchett also recognizes Osmond’s interest in Isabel. She wonders if his attentions would remain once he had spent her... (full context)
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Before Isabel leaves Florence for Rome, Osmond tells Isabel he would have liked to travel with her. She suggests he go to... (full context)
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Osmond lets Madame Merle know that her plans for his marriage to Isabel are moving along... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...Sunday, Isabel is touring St. Peter’s Basilica with Lord Warburton when they happen upon Gilbert Osmond, who has been watching the young woman for some time. When Isabel tells him that... (full context)
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Ralph, Henrietta, and Mr. Bantling join the three of them. When Henrietta first met Gilbert Osmond, she had asked Isabel why all of her friends in Europe are so unlikeable. Henrietta... (full context)
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...with the aristocrat curious as to whether Isabel will accept a marriage proposal from Gilbert Osmond. Ralph encourages his friend to ensure that she will not by wooing her himself. When... (full context)
Chapter 28
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...the opera because the hotel has informed him that Isabel, Ralph, Henrietta, Mr. Bantling, and Osmond will be there. At Ralph’s request, Warburton joins Isabel and Osmond in a viewing box,... (full context)
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Later, Osmond asks Isabel about Lord Warburton. After Isabel relates something of his background, Osmond suggests that... (full context)
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...the history of the sculptures and architecture around her. After half an hour of solitude, Osmond appears. He is surprised to find her without Lord Warburton. Osmond is in a good... (full context)
Chapter 29
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Osmond makes for good company in Rome. Despite his apprehensions, even Ralph acknowledges that Gilbert Osmond... (full context)
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Osmond likes Isabel very much, noting that only a few small faults keep her from being... (full context)
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...writes to Isabel to suggest that they travel to Bellagio in Lombardy. Before Isabel departs, Osmond comments that she is probably intending to experience the world through travel. He has no... (full context)
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Osmond then shocks Isabel by revealing that he loves her. He doesn’t have anything to offer... (full context)
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Isabel reacts coolly, stating that she is concerned but unoffended by Osmond’s revelations. Osmond requests that she grant him a favor when she returns to Florence, asking... (full context)
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Osmond respectfully takes his quick leave from Isabel. Left alone, she sits down slowly and remains... (full context)
Chapter 30
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...Florence with Ralph, Isabel tells Madame Merle of her intention to visit Pansy as per Osmond’s request. Merle warns that she should not visit a bachelor’s house alone, even if he... (full context)
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When visiting Pansy at Osmond’s Florence villa, Isabel admires the innocent beauty of her young friend. She is tempted to... (full context)
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Pansy shares a personal concern with Isabel, thinking that Osmond has brought her home from the convent to save money for the young girl’s dowry—this... (full context)
Chapter 31
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...her return to Italy, Isabel goes to Rome to stay with Madame Merle. There Gilbert Osmond calls upon her each day over a three week period. In April, Isabel goes back... (full context)
Chapter 32
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...after receiving her letter informing her that she has accepted a marriage proposal from Gilbert Osmond. Isabel tells him that she wishes he hadn’t come at all. (full context)
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...not passed on the news of Isabel’s engagement to her. Isabel admits that Henrietta dislikes Osmond. She admits to marrying a “nobody,” but declares that she is not marrying for the... (full context)
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Goodwood asks Isabel for some details about Osmond and their upcoming wedding. Isabel is almost aggrieved by the control he now demonstrates over... (full context)
Chapter 33
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...has ceased her weeping. She means to share the news of her engagement to Gilbert Osmond with Mrs. Touchett, although she expects that there will be a scene when she does.... (full context)
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...that Madame Merle played her friend for a fool, convincing her that she would dissuade Osmond’s interest in Isabel when really Merle was encouraging it. Mrs. Touchett refers to Isabel’s fiancé... (full context)
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Mrs. Touchett cannot understand why Isabel wants to marry Gilbert Osmond when he has no conventional marital advantages: no name, status, or wealth. She wonders if... (full context)
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...“humiliated” by his poor judgment in having previously concluded that Isabel would never seriously consider Osmond’s courtship. He is devastated that she is now lost to him forever. (full context)
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Isabel grows impatient at Ralph’s lack of a response to her engagement to Osmond. She knows that he is likely to be disappointed at her choice of husband. However,... (full context)
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Isabel occupies her time with meeting Osmond in different places around the city each day. With their engagement now common news, they... (full context)
Chapter 34
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One day, after returning from a meeting with Osmond, Isabel chances upon Ralph in the garden of his mother’s home. He appears to be... (full context)
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...discuss her engagement. Ralph states that he cannot share his feelings about her engagement to Osmond unless she breaks it off; otherwise he will be speaking rudely of her husband, which... (full context)
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...speak his true feelings on the engagement. He trusts Isabel but he does not trust Osmond. Ralph believes that Osmond is a “small” man who has trapped Isabel into an unfavorable... (full context)
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...reveals that he thought that Isabel would “marry a man of more importance.” All that Osmond has going for him is his taste; on the whole, he is an idle man... (full context)
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Isabel defends her relationship with Osmond, finding herself wholly attracted to her fiancé and his values. She finds Osmond’s lack of... (full context)
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...change Isabel’s mind. He believes that she has wrongly invested her time and emotion in Osmond because the man wears “his very poverties dressed out as honors.” Ralph is sickened by... (full context)
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Isabel is firm in her conviction to marry Osmond. Ralph feels terrible for her situation but knows he is too late to do anything... (full context)
Chapter 35
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Osmond and Isabel take another walk together. Isabel feels somewhat isolated in her family and friends’... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Osmond is experiencing an elated sense of achievement at having successfully charmed Isabel into marrying him.... (full context)
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Isabel and Osmond plan for the future, deciding to reside in Italy together. Isabel is buoyed by the... (full context)
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Osmond brings Pansy to see Isabel; he still treats her as a small child, despite her... (full context)
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The Countess Gemini reacts quite differently to the news of her brother Osmond’s engagement. She tells Isabel directly that she is pleased for herself that Isabel will marry... (full context)
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Strangely, the Countess Gemini suggests that Isabel will shortly see the truth of Osmond, and that if Isabel is strong enough, then the Countess will one day tell her... (full context)
Chapter 36
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...as a “consummate piece” and hopes that Merle will advocate on his behalf with Gilbert Osmond for Pansy’s hand in marriage, knowing that Merle has influence over Osmond as a family... (full context)
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...children rather than sharing it with Pansy. Merle reveals that Isabel had a son with Osmond two years ago, but the child died at the young age of six months. She... (full context)
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Rosier describes the Osmonds’ house in Rome. It is “a dark and massive structure” whose architecture reminds him of... (full context)
Chapter 37
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Rosier bumps into Osmond before he finds Pansy. Showing a lack of social wiles, Rosier asks Osmond if he... (full context)
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Rosier takes his leave of Osmond, coming across Isabel in the adjoining room. She is dressed in a beautiful black velvet... (full context)
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...Pansy to admit that she likes Rosier too, although she is concerned that her father, Osmond, might know. (full context)
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Madame Merle arrives to the party and speaks with Osmond. He reveals he was intentionally rude to Rosier, because the young art collector is not... (full context)
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...Merle is immediately proved wrong—it is clear that Rosier has announced his feelings to Pansy. Osmond is angry and tells Merle scathingly that she should be “horsewhipped.” (full context)
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...that he is not wealthy enough—to gain Pansy’s hand in marriage. Isabel confirms that Gilbert Osmond desires Pansy to marry a wealthy man, and that she wants to help Rosier and... (full context)
Chapter 38
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...skipping one of Isabel’s Thursday evening events, Rosier attends the next one. He talks with Osmond again, who advises that his daughter, Pansy, does not love or even care for Rosier... (full context)
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...if her feelings toward him have changed. She answers truthfully that they have not, but Osmond has forbidden her from speaking to Rosier. She plans to ask the fearless Isabel to... (full context)
Chapter 39
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...and Isabel’s relationship, explaining that Ralph never spoke to Isabel about his objections to Gilbert Osmond again.  He suspects that his voiced objections to Isabel about her husband means that the... (full context)
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...Ralph concludes that Isabel no longer represents freedom—she represents her husband. He also concludes that Osmond is a man who has pretended to live by admirable values, but this was always... (full context)
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Osmond has never considered Ralph as a threat. However, once when Ralph overstayed his welcome in... (full context)
Chapter 40
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...had ample time to consider her family and friends’ previous warnings about getting involved with Osmond. She has particularly reflected on Mrs. Touchett’s accusation that Madame Merle orchestrated the union between... (full context)
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Interestingly, ever since their marriage, Madame Merle has separated herself from Osmond and Isabel. Isabel remembers that Merle once told her she did not want to seem... (full context)
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...When Pansy retires upstairs, Isabel is surprised to see that Madame Merle is visiting the Osmond residence in Rome. She is greatly shocked that Merle is standing in the drawing room... (full context)
Chapter 41
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After the party, Isabel sits alone in front of the fireplace. Osmond interrupts her quiet reflections to discuss Pansy’s marriage options. Osmond is clear in his desire... (full context)
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Although Isabel expects a harsh rebuke from Osmond concerning her involvement (or lack of it) in shaping Pansy’s future marriage, Osmond merely requests... (full context)
Chapter 42
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Isabel refrains from answering Osmond’s rude request for her to influence Lord Warburton into marrying Pansy. After he leaves the... (full context)
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Still seated before the fire, Isabel’s thoughts turn to Osmond and Madame Merle’s strange familiarity earlier that day. She had never known that the two... (full context)
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...been a burden that has ruined her life. Her naïve idealism led her to marry Osmond so that she could fund the apparently noble pursuits of “the man with the best... (full context)
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Isabel thinks that living with Osmond is like living in “a house of darkness [and] […] suffocation.” His selfishness and arrogance... (full context)
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...when she finally retires to bed. Her last thoughts are of the strange interactions between Osmond and Madame Merle earlier that day. (full context)
Chapter 43
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...indicated he would like to marry Pansy. He has not been in communication with Gilbert Osmond as promised on this count. Warburton admits that he wrote a letter to Osmond this... (full context)
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...love with Pansy. In fact, Isabel suggests that Pansy would marry Rosier if not for Osmond’s preference of Warburton as her suitor. Isabel is suspicious of her companion’s lack of jealousy... (full context)
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...assists them both to their carriage, where Isabel reminds him to send his letter to Osmond. (full context)
Chapter 44
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...live in Rome, as her own home in Florence is unexciting, and accepts her brother Osmond’s invitation to stay with his family for a period. The Countess Gemini is convinced that... (full context)
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...The Countess has helped the journalist once before regarding a newspaper article. Henrietta claims that Osmond has tried to break up her friendship with Isabel. The Countess Gemini is not surprised... (full context)
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...offers an idea for working out whether Isabel is truly unhappy in her marriage to Osmond, which Henrietta rejects as too complex. The Countess is impressed by Isabel’s strength of friendships. (full context)
Chapter 45
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...Isabel has continued to visit her unwell cousin, Ralph, at his hotel in Rome, despite Osmond’s displeasure in her actions. Isabel is concerned that Osmond will go so far as to... (full context)
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Isabel contemplates the extreme but plausible actions of breaking her marriage to Osmond, but realizes this option as being “odious and monstrous.” Isabel asks Ralph if he believes... (full context)
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...if he and Isabel could convince Lord Warburton to stop pursuing Pansy’s hand in marriage, Osmond would retaliate by punishing Isabel for failing to persuade Warburton to marry Pansy. (full context)
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...mask has dropped back firmly into place. He offends Isabel in his desire to prove Osmond’s ill character, and she leaves him to speak with Pansy. (full context)
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...that her greatest desire in life is to marry Edward Rosier, for she loves him. Osmond’s disapproval is the only things that stops her. Isabel tries to be loyal to her... (full context)
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...would propose immediately to Pansy if he knew she was interested in him. It is Osmond’s great wish that Pansy encourages Warburton’s affections. (full context)
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...her), but knows from her behavior that she has no interest in him. Therefore, although Osmond desires the match, Warburton will never pursue it any further. Isabel encourages Pansy to share... (full context)
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...with Lord Warburton and Rosier. Isabel’s final piece of advice for her stepdaughter is that Osmond expects her to marry a nobleman; Pansy, standing in an open doorway and drawing a... (full context)
Chapter 46
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For the next four days, Lord Warburton does not visit the Osmond family home. Osmond notices his absence and asks Isabel about it. She reveals that Warburton... (full context)
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Suddenly, Lord Warburton enters the room. He informs the Osmonds that he is departing for England, although he is sorry to have to leave Ralph.... (full context)
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When Osmond is alone with Isabel later that day, he accuses her again of being disloyal to... (full context)
Chapter 47
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Henrietta asks Isabel why she doesn’t leave Osmond due to their intensely unhappy marriage. Isabel says that she must live with her foolish... (full context)
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After first checking with Isabel, Caspar Goodwood visits the Osmond family home. Isabel hopes that he is long over his passion for her. As per... (full context)
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...time of Henrietta and Goodwood visiting Rome, Isabel is frequented by strange nighttime dreams of Osmond and Madame Merle together. She is not sure what her imagination is trying to communicate... (full context)
Chapter 48
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...he is also tired of seeing Isabel pretend to be happy in her marriage to Osmond. (full context)
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Henrietta urges Isabel to leave Osmond before their relationship grows yet more dire. Isabel insists that she is confident in her... (full context)
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...for England, she admits that she is sometimes afraid of herself, but never afraid of Osmond. Her admission of unhappiness is accompanied by the confession that Ralph is her best friend... (full context)
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...to send for her if he desires her company at Gardencourt. Ralph is concerned that Osmond will not allow such travel, but she promises she will come in spite of Osmond’s... (full context)
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Goodwood visits Isabel at her home, where Osmond talks to him about the increased harmony that Goodwood’s presence has afforded his marriage. Osmond... (full context)
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Osmond also paints Goodwood as the true version of a modern man, and suggests that he... (full context)
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...her that he does not want to leave her in Rome. He is concerned about Osmond’s oppressive character, despite Osmond having treated him elegantly while Goodwood has been in Rome. The... (full context)
Chapter 49
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...friend Madame Merle has been. She has begun to mistrust her ever since she found Osmond sitting too familiarly beside Merle at the Osmond home. Isabel finally feels that is acceptable... (full context)
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Madame Merle tells Isabel that Osmond visited her yesterday, confiding in her instead of his wife. She also asserts that Osmond... (full context)
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...his own accord, or did Isabel intentionally lead him away? If the latter, Merle and Osmond need to know. Isabel grows “pale” at Merle’s charges, suddenly realizing that the familiarity between... (full context)
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...the descriptor of “wicked” to Madame Merle, and speculates as to Merle’s intentions for bringing Osmond and Isabel together in marriage. Isabel cannot pinpoint what Merle would gain from their union,... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Madame Merle is talking to Osmond at Merle’s home. She accuses Osmond being ungrateful for her help in securing his advantageous... (full context)
Chapter 50
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...richer. It was torment to part with his beloved ornaments, but he hopes that Gilbert Osmond will now consider him wealthy enough to court Pansy. Isabel advises that she hopes Osmond... (full context)
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One week later, Pansy tells Isabel that Osmond is sending her back to be educated at the convent again. Isabel is totally unaware... (full context)
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After Pansy leaves Rome, Isabel shares a meal with Osmond and the Countess Gemini. Isabel tells Osmond that she will miss his daughter greatly, but... (full context)
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The Countess Gemini asks Osmond why he won’t admit to the obvious truth, accusing her brother of sending Pansy away... (full context)
Chapter 51
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Although Osmond does not banish the Countess Gemini from his house, she feels that her hospitality in... (full context)
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Osmond claims that Isabel cares greatly for her cousin because Ralph does not give weight to... (full context)
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The Countess Gemini then encourages Isabel to defy Osmond’s instructions by traveling to Gardencourt. She also decides to reveal an enormous truth to Isabel... (full context)
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...Madame Merle. The Countess Gemini is surprised by Isabel’s compassionate reaction. Isabel also wonders if Osmond has been faithful to Isabel during their marriage, with the Countess Gemini indicating that he... (full context)
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When Isabel questions why Osmond and Madame Merle never married, the Countess Gemini explains that Merle had no wealth to... (full context)
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...of the Countess Gemini, the Countess asks if Isabel still plans to visit Ralph against Osmond’s will. With an air of “infinite sadness” Isabel reveals that she must. She appears physically... (full context)
Chapter 52
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...to justify her visit to Pansy, acknowledging that she should have asked for permission from Osmond and Isabel, but she soon realizes that Isabel knows the truth of Merle’s relationship to... (full context)
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...her to England. Despite Isabel’s heartfelt desire to allow Pansy’s wishes, Pansy decides to obey Osmond’s orders and remain faithfully in the convent. (full context)
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Pansy admits to Isabel that she sometimes fears both Osmond and Madame Merle. Isabel gently rebukes her for saying so. She must say goodbye to... (full context)
Chapter 53
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...is unable to imagine her future. With time, though, she uses her recent conversations with Osmond, the Countess Gemini, Madame Merle, and Pansy to begin making some connections between previous events. (full context)
Chapter 54
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...has been like an “angel” at his bedside. He is concerned that Isabel has defied Osmond to visit him. However, Isabel tells Ralph that he has “been everything” to her. She... (full context)
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...woman. Ralph admits it is so and that his actions “ruined” her. Isabel confirms that Osmond was originally quite in love with her, but that he only married her because she... (full context)
Chapter 55
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...is torn by her desire to remain there permanently and her obligation to return to Osmond and Pansy in Rome. During this time, Mrs. Touchett informs Isabel that Ralph has left... (full context)
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Goodwood tells her that he knows that Isabel is unhappy in her marriage to Gilbert Osmond, as he had spoken with Ralph on the matter. Goodwood despises the vile Osmond, calling... (full context)
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...life-long love for Isabel and scandalously suggests that he can offer her an escape from Osmond—they can start a new life together overseas. He tells Isabel that nothing is stopping her... (full context)