The Portrait of a Lady

by

Henry James

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Isabel Archer Character Analysis

The novel’s protagonist, Isabel is a young American woman who is characterized by her curiosity, kindness, beauty, and progressive values. Upon Mrs. Touchett’s (Isabel’s estranged aunt) invitation to visit the Touchett family home in England, Isabel’s positive energy and thirst for knowledge enchant those she meets in Europe, including her uncle Mr. Touchett, cousin Ralph, their neighbor Lord Warburton and his sisters, and Mrs. Touchett’s friend Madame Merle. As a progressive American woman who travels extensively to experience Europe, Isabel embodies the clash between New World evolution and Old World sophistication. Isabel demonstrates her unconventional New World attitudes when she rejects marriage proposals from Lord Warburton and Caspar Goodward (an American businessman), both of which would make extremely advantageous matches for Isabel. After inheriting a significant inheritance from Mr. Touchett at Ralph’s request, Isabel has the means to travel extensively through Europe as she has long desired. She is also excited by the opportunities to undertake meaningful action with her newfound wealth. However, Isabel’s naïve hopes are dashed when Madame Merle and her mysterious acquaintance Gilbert Osmond dupe Isabel into a marriage with the domineering Osmond. As her husband, Osmond now controls Isabel’s finances. He treats her as an object of beauty—a mere addition to his art collection—and stifles her active imagination and progressive ideas. Ultimately, Isabel’s narrative depicts a young, bright, and independent woman who develops into a dissatisfied lady trapped in a miserable marriage. She is an extremely perceptive individual except for her weakness in failing to recognize the dangers of social predators such as Merle and Osmond. The end of the novel implies that Isabel chooses to remain with Osmond and his daughter, Pansy, instead of accepting Caspar Goodwood’s tempting proposal that they run away together—a choice that shows Isabel ultimately bending to social convention at the expense of her own happiness and personal freedom.

Isabel Archer Quotes in The Portrait of a Lady

The The Portrait of a Lady quotes below are all either spoken by Isabel Archer or refer to Isabel Archer. 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 2 Quotes

“Oh no; she has not adopted me. I’m not a candidate for adoption.”

“I beg a thousand pardons,” Ralph murmured. “I meant—I meant—“ he hardly knew what he meant.

“You meant she has taken me up. Yes; she likes to take people up. She has been very kind to me; but,” she added with a certain visible eagerness of desire to be explicit, “I’m very fond of my liberty.”

Related Characters: Isabel Archer (speaker), Ralph Touchett (speaker), Mrs. Touchett
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

“I don’t see what you’ve against her except that she’s so original.”

“Well, I don’t like originals; I like translations,” Mr Ludlow had more than once replied. “Isabel’s written in a foreign tongue. I cant make her out. She ought to marry an Armenian or a Portugese.”

“That’s just what I’m afraid she’ll do!” cried Lilian, who thought Isabel capable of anything.

Related Characters: Lilian Ludlow (speaker), Edmund Ludlow (speaker), Isabel Archer
Page Number: 43-44
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

Isabel Archer was a young person of many theories; her imagination was remarkably active. It had been her fortune to possess a finer mind than most of the persons among whom her lot was cast; to have a larger perception of surrounding facts and to care for knowledge that was tinged with the unfamiliar. […] It may be affirmed without delay that Isabel was probably very liable to the sin of self-esteem; she often surveyed with complacency the field of her own nature; she was in the habit of taking for granted, on scanty evidence, that she was right; she treated herself to occasions of homage. Meanwhile her errors and delusions were frequently such as a biographer interested in preserving the dignity of his subject must shrink from specifying.

Related Characters: Isabel Archer
Page Number: 62-63
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

“I like the great country stretching away beyond the rivers and across the prairies, blooming and smiling, and spreading till it stops at the green Pacific! A strong, sweet, fresh odour seems to rise from it, and Henrietta—pardon my simile—has something of that odour in her garments.”

[…]

“I’m not sure the Pacific’s so green as that,” he said; “but you’re a young woman of imagination. Henrietta, however, does smell of the Future—it almost knocks one down!”

Related Characters: Isabel Archer (speaker), Ralph Touchett (speaker), Caspar Goodwood, Henrietta Stackpole
Page Number: 105
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

In so far as the indefinable had an influence upon Isabel’s behaviour at this juncture, it was not the conception, even unformulated, of a union with Caspar Goodwood; for however she might have resisted conquest at her English suitor’s large quiet hands she was at least as far removed from the disposition to let the young man from Boston take positive possession of her. […] The idea of a diminished liberty was particularly disagreeable to her at present.

Page Number: 125-126
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

“If there’s a thing in the world I’m fond of,” she went on with a slight recurrence of grandeur, “it’s my personal independence.”

[…]

Isabel’s words, if they meant to shock him, failed of the mark and only made him smile with the sense that here was common ground. “Who would wish less to curtail your liberty than I? What can give me greater pleasure than to see you perfectly independent—doing whatever you like? It’s to make you independent that I want to marry you. […] An unmarried woman—a girl of your age—isn’t independent. There are all sorts of things she can’t do. She’s hampered at every step.”

Related Characters: Isabel Archer (speaker), Caspar Goodwood (speaker), Lord Warburton
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:

“I’m not in my first youth—I can do whatever I choose—I belong quite to the independent class. I’ve neither father nor mother; I’m poor and of a serious disposition; I’m not pretty. I therefore am not bound to be timid and conventional; indeed I can’t afford such luxuries. Besides, I try to judge things for myself; to judge wrong, I think, is more honourable to not to judge at all. I don’t wish to be a mere sheep in the flock; I wish to choose my own fate and know something of human affairs beyond what other people think it compatible with propriety to tell me.”

Related Characters: Isabel Archer (speaker), Caspar Goodwood, Mrs. Touchett, Mr. Touchett
Page Number: 170
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

“Do you know where you’re drifting?” Henrietta pursued, holding out her bonnet delicately.

“No, I haven’t the least idea, and I find it very pleasant not to know. A swift carriage, on a dark night, rattling with four horses over roads that one cant see—that’s my idea of happiness.”

[…]

“You’re a creature of risks—you make me shudder!” cried Henrietta.

Related Characters: Isabel Archer (speaker), Henrietta Stackpole (speaker)
Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

“Even the hardest iron pots have a little bruise, a little hole somewhere. I flatter myself that I’m rather stout, but I must if I must tell you the truth I’ve been shockingly chipped and cracked. I do very well for service yet, because I’ve been cleverly mended.”

Related Characters: Madame Merle (speaker), Isabel Archer
Page Number: 199-200
Explanation and Analysis:

“You should live in your own land; whatever it may be you have your natural place there. If we’re not good Americans we’re certainly poor Europeans; we’ve no natural place here. We’re mere parasites, crawling over the surface; we haven’t our feet in the soil. At least one can know it and not have illusions. A woman perhaps can get on; a woman, it seems to me, has no natural place anywhere; wherever she finds herself she has to remain on the surface and, more or less, to crawl.”

Related Characters: Madame Merle (speaker), Isabel Archer
Page Number: 202-203
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

“The peril for you is that you live too much in the world of your own dreams. You’re not enough in contact with reality—with the toiling, striving, suffering, I may even say sinning, world that surrounds you. You’re too fastidious; you’ve too many graceful illusions. Your newly-acquired thousands will shut you up more and more to the society of a few selfish and heartless people who will be interested in keeping them up.”

Related Characters: Henrietta Stackpole (speaker), Isabel Archer
Page Number: 222
Explanation and Analysis:
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 37 Quotes

He took his course to the adjoining room and met Mrs. Osmond coming out of the deep doorway. She was dressed in black velvet; she looked high and splendid, as he had said, and yet oh so radiantly gentle! […] She had lost something of that quick eagerness to which her husband had privately taken exception—she had more the air of being able to wait. Now, at all events, framed in the gilded doorway, she struck our young man as the picture of a gracious lady.

Related Characters: Isabel Archer, Edward Rosier
Related Symbols: Doorways
Page Number: 366
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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Isabel Archer Character Timeline in The Portrait of a Lady

The timeline below shows where the character Isabel Archer appears in The Portrait of a Lady. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Preface
Female Independence vs. Marriage Theme Icon
Art and Morality Theme Icon
He also details his uncertainty of Isabel Archer’s merit as the protagonist of his novel. James overcomes this issue by reasoning that... (full context)
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The European Old World vs. the American New World Theme Icon
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...her personality, but his reasoning was to strongly contrast Stackpole’s vigorous resolution with the introspective Isabel. Stackpole is a character whose purpose is to move the plot forward, while Isabel’s many... (full context)
Chapter 1
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The European Old World vs. the American New World Theme Icon
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...in love as soon as possible, as long as it is not with his American niece (later to be revealed as Isabel Archer) who is expected to arrive to visit Gardencourt... (full context)
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The three gentlemen discuss the details surrounding Ralph’s cousin Isabel’s surprising visit. Mrs. Touchett, who has spent the winter living in the United States, discovered... (full context)
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Despite Lord Warburton’s questioning Mr. Touchett further about his soon-to-visit niece, Mr. Touchett and Ralph can offer no further details about Isabel; they are as much... (full context)
Chapter 2
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...him. He suddenly notices her because of his dog, who bounds over to her excitedly. Isabel handles the exuberant dog with great confidence and friendliness, and Ralph moves to greet her.... (full context)
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Isabel informs Ralph that his mother, Mrs. Touchett, has retired immediately to her rooms upon arrival,... (full context)
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Isabel exclaims at the identity of the other two men on the lawn, Mr. Touchett and... (full context)
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Mr. Touchett then moves away with Isabel, leaving Lord Warburton to tell Ralph that Isabel is exactly the type of “interesting woman”... (full context)
Chapter 3
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The novel flashes back to Mrs. Touchett and Isabel’s meeting one another in America. Mrs. Touchett is a pragmatic and self-serving woman who has... (full context)
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Mrs. Touchett finds Isabel at the young woman’s grandmother’s house in Albany, New York. Isabel is reading a book... (full context)
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Mrs. Touchett explains that she had a falling out with Isabel’s father because of the unconventional manner in which he raised his daughters. She has some... (full context)
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...is unimpressive and will be pulled down to create shopping space when it is sold. Isabel fervently hopes this will not be the case, as she adores her family house and... (full context)
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Isabel and Mrs. Touchett talk for an hour longer, with Isabel mentioning that she would one... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...for being “the practical one,” Edith is regarded as the prettiest of the three, and Isabel is known for being highly intelligent. When Isabel tells Lilian about Mrs. Touchett’s unexpected visit,... (full context)
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Isabel reflects on her upbringing, noting she has already had a number of opportunities in life,... (full context)
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A self-directed education means that Isabel is very intelligent. She has learned a great deal from books, although “hated to be... (full context)
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While thinking about the possibility of Mrs. Touchett inviting Isabel to England, Caspar Goodwood arrives at the house. He is a Boston cotton-mill businessman and... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Ralph discusses his cousin Isabel with Mrs. Touchett, who admires her niece—particularly her independence—but also recognizes that Isabel is naïve... (full context)
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After a family dinner, Isabel asks Ralph to show her his art collection that he has personally curated at Gardencourt.... (full context)
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Isabel then surprises Ralph by asking whether there are any ghosts at Gardencourt, due to the... (full context)
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Isabel reveals to Ralph that she enjoyed meeting Mr. Touchett and Lord Warburton. She also likes... (full context)
Chapter 6
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The narrator goes into depth about Isabel’s character. In possession of a keen intellect and an extraordinarily active imagination, Isabel also has... (full context)
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In keeping with the fact that Isabel values her personal liberties, she considers her friend Henrietta Stackpole, an American journalist, a role... (full context)
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Isabel forms an enjoyable friendship with her uncle, Mr. Touchett, spending time with him each day... (full context)
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Moving on to discuss English class structures, Mr. Touchett tells Isabel that it is helpful being an American in England, because Americans do not belong to... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Isabel and Mr. Touchett continue to entertain themselves by discussing British attitudes and conventions. Isabel learns... (full context)
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Isabel also spends more time with Ralph, finding her cousin to be very amusing and witty.... (full context)
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...Lord Warburton is invited to stay at Gardencourt for two nights. Greatly enjoying his company, Isabel is shocked when Mrs. Touchett forbids her from sitting alone with Warburton and Ralph after... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Lord Warburton has taken a liking to Isabel and requests that Mrs. Touchett bring her niece to visit his castle, called Lockleigh. Having... (full context)
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Isabel later tells Ralph that she likes Lord Warburton, and Ralph agrees that he greatly likes... (full context)
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Isabel is confused by Ralph’s judgments of Lord Warburton, and therefore also speaks to Mr. Touchett.... (full context)
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Mr. Touchett also tells Isabel that although Lord Warburton talks about his desire for revolutionary changes to occur in English... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Lord Warburton’s two youngest sisters, the Misses Molyneux, visit Isabel at Gardencourt. They are very timid women in their friendliness, but they do manage to... (full context)
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Isabel takes up their invitation and visits Lockleigh. She is bold in directly asking the Misses... (full context)
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Later in the day, while Isabel and Lord Warburton walk together, he tells her that he hopes to see more of... (full context)
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Isabel has read that the English are “eccentric” and “romantic” individuals; she is concerned that she... (full context)
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As Isabel leaves, Lord Warburton promises that he will visit her at Gardencourt next week. She replies... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Henrietta Stackpole, Isabel’s friend and an American journalist, has arrived in England to write on the European lifestyle.... (full context)
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Henrietta makes her way to Gardencourt to see Isabel. Ralph and Henrietta develop a combative friendship; when the journalist first arrives, she brazenly asks... (full context)
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...writes about the Touchetts for her newspaper column, but when she shows her work to Isabel, her friend advises that the material is too private, and that Henrietta cannot publish it.... (full context)
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Isabel tells Ralph that Henrietta believes that the English treat women poorly. Isabel also attributes many... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...of tenancy and servants. Henrietta finds the Touchett family have been Europeanized and believes that Isabel is beginning to go down the same track. (full context)
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Later, when the two are alone, Henrietta reveals to Isabel that Caspar Goodwood has traveled to England to connect with Isabel; in fact, they were... (full context)
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Isabel spends the next few days in an anxious state of waiting to hear from Goodwood.... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Lord Warburton’s sudden appearance shocks Isabel in the moment, but she has been expecting his arrival for some time, as he... (full context)
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Lord Warburton seems almost embarrassed in manner as he walks alongside Isabel in the garden. He then declares that he has fallen in love with Isabel and... (full context)
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Isabel tries to explain why she feels that she cannot accept Lord Warburton’s proposal. She rejects... (full context)
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Isabel suggests to Lord Warburton that he could find a much better woman to marry, but... (full context)
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Isabel remains in the garden, considering her conversation with Lord Warburton. She knows that a union... (full context)
Chapter 13
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It is Isabel’s concern at her own personal fears and not her desire for advice that leads her... (full context)
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Isabel describes her feelings to Mr. Touchett, including her desire to refrain from marriage at this... (full context)
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Isabel’s thoughts change direction, considering Caspar Goodwood’s romantic intentions. She is no more inclined to marry... (full context)
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...works and has invented and patented a technology that improves the cotton spinning process, although Isabel is uninterested in this achievement. She is impressed by his charisma, dependability, and dynamic leadership... (full context)
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Despite Caspar Goodwood’s many attractive qualities, Isabel will not marry him. She notes that Lord Warburton is in many ways the opposite... (full context)
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While Isabel is occupied with the letter to Lord Warburton, Henrietta Stackpole gets Ralph to walk in... (full context)
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Henrietta suggests that she and Isabel should travel to London together, with the journalist secretly wanting Isabel and Caspar Goodwood to... (full context)
Chapter 14
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Isabel successfully puts off off the London visit until Lord Warburton comes to visit at Gardencourt.... (full context)
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After lunch, Lord Warburton invites Isabel to Gardencourt’s gallery to look at the art. She knows this is a pretext, as... (full context)
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Isabel withdraws to her rooms, where her aunt stops by before dinner. Mrs. Touchett reveals that... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Mrs. Touchett comes to agree that her niece was correct in refusing Lord Warburton’s marriage proposal if Isabel does not love him. Isabel... (full context)
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Isabel, meanwhile, is feeling guilty and pained at her interactions with Lord Warburton before she left... (full context)
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Ralph and Isabel are left sitting together at Winchester House. Ralph thinks that Henrietta and Mr. Bantling get... (full context)
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Ralph suggests he dine with his cousin, but Isabel wants to return to the inn on her own to eat a simple dinner. She... (full context)
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Ralph hesitantly tells his cousin that he knows about Lord Warburton’s marriage proposal, asking why Isabel rejected it. He is surprised by Isabel’s rejection because he views Warburton as an extremely... (full context)
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When Isabel deems it time to return to the inn, Ralph offers to find her a cab... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Despite wanting to spend the evening in solitude, Isabel is surprised to receive a servant’s notice that Caspar Goodwood is waiting to see her... (full context)
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Upon their meeting, Isabel asks how Goodwood knew where to find he in London. He replies that Henrietta informed... (full context)
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Isabel asks Goodwood why he is here, and he replies that he is intent upon their... (full context)
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Goodwood reiterates that he is “infernally in love” with Isabel. He strength of character means that he loves Isabel even more “strongly” than an ordinary... (full context)
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Isabel also reveals that she has rejected a “dazzling” marriage proposal last week from an English... (full context)
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Isabel is also shocked when Goodwood reveals that, at Henrietta’s urging, Ralph previously invited him to... (full context)
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...his leave, refusing to give in to despair by convincingly affirming that he will seek Isabel out in two year’s time. He believes that she will be truly fed up with... (full context)
Chapter 17
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After dropping to her knees upon Goodwood’s exit from her rooms, Isabel is “not praying; she was trembling—trembling all over.” She is intensely relieved that Goodwood has... (full context)
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The door opens, and Isabel rises with alarm, believing that Goodwood has returned. However, it is simply  Henrietta returning from... (full context)
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Henrietta can see that her Isabel is in an unusual state, and quickly asks if Goodwood has visited. Isabel is frustrated... (full context)
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...Pensil’s letter of invitation that Mr. Bantling promises her will arrive to London any day. Isabel asks Henrietta if she knows where she is “drifting,” and Henrietta replies she is to... (full context)
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Shortly after, Ralph visits Isabel with some unhappy news. Mrs. Touchett has sent a telegram that states Mr. Touchett’s health... (full context)
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Ralph returns to see Isabel later the same day. He has successfully met with Sir Matthew Hope and is ready... (full context)
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Ralph blushes at the revelation of Isabel’s visitor, but chides himself, feeling that he has no right to be concerned about his... (full context)
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Henrietta tells Ralph that she has no intention of letting Goodwood “give up” on Isabel, as she believes her friend really does like Goodwood and would benefit greatly from their... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Isabel and Ralph have arrived at Gardencourt to be with the ailing Mr. Touchett. Isabel finds... (full context)
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Isabel goes to ask her cousin about Madame Merle, with Ralph revealing that he was at... (full context)
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Mr. Touchett carries on, asking Ralph what he thinks of Isabel. After jerking in surprise, Ralph laughs at Mr. Touchett’s hint that he should marry his... (full context)
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Ralph would, however, like to support Isabel in her life desires. Mr. Touchett, who has also admitted his great fondness for his... (full context)
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Mr. Touchett recognizes that a legacy of some 60,000 pounds would tie Isabel to the risk of social predators targeting her money. Ralph believes this potential danger is... (full context)
Chapter 19
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During the period of Mr. Touchett’s declining health, Isabel and Madame Merle are thrown together by circumstance and form a great friendship. Indeed, “Isabel... (full context)
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Isabel spends some time theorizing about Madame Merle’s character, deciding that Merle was once a passionate... (full context)
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...bout of bad weather confines the sickly Ralph to his rooms. One day he watches Isabel and Madame Merle walk through the rain together, feeling both regret and reproach toward them. (full context)
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Isabel continues her sincere conversations with Madame Merle. When Isabel theorizes to Merle that the older... (full context)
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...in particular, for she believes Ralph doesn’t like her and feels injured by his disfavor. Isabel fails to question Madame Merle further about this revelation, justifying her lack of actions by... (full context)
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During another conversation, Isabel is surprised by Madame Merle’s bitter admission that she would give a great deal to... (full context)
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Their conversation moves on to the topic of marriage. Madame Merle does not agree with Isabel’s declaration that she does not care for her future husband’s financial means, advising that Isabel... (full context)
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The narrator interjects that Isabel has kept the identity of her two ardent suitors a secret from Madame Merle, although... (full context)
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...takes her leave from Gardencourt, citing promises to visit other friends in Europe. She tells Isabel that she is about to visit six various locations in succession, but she is sure... (full context)
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Isabel finds herself quite lonely after Madame Merle’s departure from Gardencourt, seeing Mrs. Touchett and Ralph... (full context)
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During her now lonely existence at Gardencourt, Isabel takes a great interest in Henrietta Stackpole’s life in Europe, which she learns of via... (full context)
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Less than a week after Madame Merle’s departure from Gardencourt, Isabel sits reading distractedly in the library when Ralph enters the room and informs her that... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...not as much as she expected. In an extraordinary move, Mr. Touchett has gifted their niece, Isabel, a large fortune—roughly 70,000 pounds. Madame Merle is astonished by this news, raising her... (full context)
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When Madame Merle enquires about Ralph’s reaction to Isabel’s newfound fortune, Mrs. Touchett explains that her poorly son left England for warmer climates before... (full context)
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Madame Merle requests to see Isabel, and notes the young woman’s “pale and grave” appearance. Isabel is heartbroken by the loss... (full context)
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...intends to follow her original plans to spend some of winter in Paris. She and Isabel leave for France, where Isabel is struck by the absurdity of American expatriates’ flaunted wealth.... (full context)
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In Paris, Isabel also reconnects with Henrietta Stackpole. The two spend so much time together that Mrs. Touchett... (full context)
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Henrietta is also unsettled by the great wealth that Isabel has inherited, hoping that her new money won’t “ruin” Isabel but certain that it will... (full context)
 Chapter 21
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Mrs. Touchett had pre-organized her exact dates in Paris. She advises Isabel that her niece is now a wealthy woman and as such is under no obligation... (full context)
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When Isabel asks Ralph if he encouraged his father to leave Isabel an inheritance for his own... (full context)
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Isabel accepts Ralph’s advice and begins to look more favorably on her fortune, admitting that it... (full context)
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At times, though, Isabel finds herself thinking back to her two suitors, Caspar Goodwood and Lord Warburton. She flatters... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...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 want to meet a stranger, but... (full context)
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...looks well, recognizing this is likely the result of her “idea” of matchmaking Osmond with Isabel. He is frustrated by her meddling in his life, trying to match him with Isabel,... (full context)
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Osmond checks again with Madame Merle whether Isabel is wealthy. He then agrees to meet Isabel, as long as Ralph Touchett won’t bother... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Mrs. Touchett invites Madame Merle to stay in Florence. Merle makes sure to tell Isabel she has spoken about her to Gilbert Osmond, although gives no indication of her secret... (full context)
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Gilbert Osmond visits at Mrs. Touchett’s Florence home. Isabel barely takes part in group conversation. She does not want to play into Madame Merle’s... (full context)
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When Madame Merle congratulates Isabel on her captivating behavior, Isabel replies coolly, “that’s more than I intended,” feeling irritated with... (full context)
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Isabel asks Ralph what he knows about Gilbert Osmond. Ralph can only say that he is... (full context)
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Ralph goes on to throw barbed insults about Madame Merle, and Isabel charges him with either speaking plainly or holding his tongue. All he will say is... (full context)
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Ralph imagines that the friendship between Isabel and Madame Merle will not be long-lasting. He does not believe it necessary to take... (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,... (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 Countess, stating... (full context)
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Osmond and Isabel also discuss the topic of art, with Isabel impressed by Osmond’s cultured aesthetic tastes. In... (full context)
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Osmond asks Isabel is she will visit him at the villa again. She agrees to do so, but... (full context)
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Osmond and Isabel wander outside to join Madame Merle and the Countess Gemini. Osmond reveals that his daughter,... (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 to marry.... (full context)
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...Madame Merle considers and agrees to. The Countess Gemini asks Pansy what she thinks of Isabel; Pansy replies that their visitor is “charming” and “polite” to everyone around her, including Pansy. (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 finding a... (full context)
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...hotheaded than Madame Merle and is often frustrated by Merle’s scheming. Madame Merle reveals that Isabel has recently received an inheritance of 70,000 pounds; the Countess Gemini feels sorry that Merle... (full context)
Chapter 26
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...which is a great many times more than his usual annual visit. Ralph discerns that Isabel is the reason. (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 fortune. Ralph assures... (full context)
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Henrietta Stackpole also visits Isabel again. She is currently traveling to Rome from Venice; Ralph suggests that he and Isabel... (full context)
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Before Isabel leaves Florence for Rome, Osmond tells Isabel he would have liked to travel with her.... (full context)
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Osmond lets Madame Merle know that her plans for his marriage to Isabel are moving along nicely. Merle states that she is “frightened” of the situation she has... (full context)
Chapter 27
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Isabel, Ralph, Henrietta, and Mr. Bantling are in Rome. Isabel eagerly takes in the city’s history... (full context)
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Isabel and Lord Warburton sit together. He states that he has written to her several times.... (full context)
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On Sunday, Isabel is touring St. Peter’s Basilica with Lord Warburton when they happen upon Gilbert Osmond, who... (full context)
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...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 had then exclaimed that... (full context)
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...and Lord Warburton move away from the group, with the aristocrat curious as to whether Isabel will accept a marriage proposal from Gilbert Osmond. Ralph encourages his friend to ensure that... (full context)
Chapter 28
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The next day, Lord Warburton attends 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... (full context)
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Later, Osmond asks Isabel about Lord Warburton. After Isabel relates something of his background, Osmond suggests that he would... (full context)
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...at the Capitol in front of the statue of the Dying Gladiator, Lord Warburton lets Isabel know that he is leaving Rome. Isabel tells him goodbye, to which Warburton responds miserably... (full context)
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Isabel sits by herself, immersed in the history of the sculptures and architecture around her. After... (full context)
Chapter 29
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Osmond likes Isabel very much, noting that only a few small faults keep her from being perfect. He... (full context)
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Mrs. Touchett writes to Isabel to suggest that they travel to Bellagio in Lombardy. Before Isabel departs, Osmond comments that... (full context)
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Osmond then shocks Isabel by revealing that he loves her. He doesn’t have anything to offer her but his... (full context)
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Isabel reacts coolly, stating that she is concerned but unoffended by Osmond’s revelations. Osmond requests that... (full context)
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Osmond respectfully takes his quick leave from Isabel. Left alone, she sits down slowly and remains in place until the rest of her... (full context)
Chapter 30
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Returning to Florence with Ralph, Isabel tells Madame Merle of her intention to visit Pansy as per Osmond’s request. Merle warns... (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 talk to the... (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... (full context)
Chapter 31
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The narrative skips forward by a year. Isabel has returned to Florence, having been away for several months. She has been traveling Europe... (full context)
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Although Isabel is currently sitting beside a window at Mrs. Touchett’s house, waiting for someone, the narrator... (full context)
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During their time together, Isabel does realize that she and Madame Merle have different ethical codes. Isabel presumes that her... (full context)
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Upon her return to Italy, Isabel goes to Rome to stay with Madame Merle. There Gilbert Osmond calls upon her each... (full context)
Chapter 32
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While waiting in the house for the visitor, Isabel reflects on how much she has changed from the “frivolous young woman she was in... (full context)
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The two have a heated discussion, both angry at one another—Goodwood upset at her betrayal, Isabel frustrated at his assumed possession of her and his response to her news. (full context)
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Isabel then changes tack and asks Goodwood if he has recently been in contact with Henrietta... (full context)
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Goodwood asks Isabel for some details about Osmond and their upcoming wedding. Isabel is almost aggrieved by the... (full context)
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Goodwood states that he came to Florence to demand Isabel’s rationale for getting married, when she had once promised him that she likely never would.... (full context)
Chapter 33
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An hour later, Isabel has ceased her weeping. She means to share the news of her engagement to Gilbert... (full context)
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Isabel is surprised to find out that Mrs. Touchett already has some inkling of the engagement.... (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,... (full context)
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Two days later, Ralph arrives to Florence. He does not mention his cousin’s engagement, despite Isabel knowing that he has heard of it. In fact, his mother had shared the shocking... (full context)
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Isabel grows impatient at Ralph’s lack of a response to her engagement to Osmond. She knows... (full context)
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Isabel occupies her time with meeting Osmond in different places around the city each day. With... (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 sleeping;... (full context)
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As Isabel approaches Ralph in the garden, he stirs and comments that was just thinking of her... (full context)
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Ralph does go on to 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... (full context)
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Ralph also reveals that he thought that Isabel would “marry a man of more importance.” All that Osmond has going for him is... (full context)
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Finally, Ralph accidentally admits that he has secretly always loved Isabel. Isabel is shocked and angry at this revelation. Realizing his error, Ralph tells Isabel that... (full context)
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Isabel defends her relationship with Osmond, finding herself wholly attracted to her fiancé and his values.... (full context)
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Ralph realizes that he cannot change Isabel’s mind. He believes that she has wrongly invested her time and emotion in Osmond because... (full context)
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Isabel is firm in her conviction to marry Osmond. Ralph feels terrible for her situation but... (full context)
Chapter 35
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Osmond and Isabel take another walk together. Isabel feels somewhat isolated in her family and friends’ disapproval of... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Osmond is experiencing an elated sense of achievement at having successfully charmed Isabel into marrying him. He knows that he will profit greatly from his marriage to the... (full context)
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Isabel and Osmond plan for the future, deciding to reside in Italy together. Isabel is buoyed... (full context)
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Osmond brings Pansy to see Isabel; he still treats her as a small child, despite her now being sixteen years old.... (full context)
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...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 Osmond, as it means... (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... (full context)
Chapter 36
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...it is now the autumn of 1876. Edward Rosier, the art collector who is also Isabel’s childhood friend, arrives to visit Madame Merle in Rome. Over the summer he met Pansy... (full context)
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...seem to think he could live on comfortably with a wife. She suggests that although Isabel has wealth, she may keep it for her own children rather than sharing it with... (full context)
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Next, Rosier goes to visit the Osmonds at their house in Rome. Mrs. Osmond (Isabel) regularly hosts Thursday night social gatherings, which create an opportunity for Rosier to mingle with... (full context)
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...bode well for his beloved Pansy to be living there. He knows that Osmond and Isabel purchased the house because of its “local character,” and that Mr. Osmond has been able... (full context)
Chapter 37
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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 dress and framed... (full context)
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Isabel helps Rosier to unobtrusively meet with Pansy at the party. Pansy has developed into a... (full context)
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...Rosier to communicate her disappointment that he has broken her promise. Rosier then speaks to Isabel, worried that he is not good enough—specifically, that he is not wealthy enough—to gain Pansy’s... (full context)
Chapter 38
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After skipping one of Isabel’s Thursday evening events, Rosier attends the next one. He talks with Osmond again, who advises... (full context)
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Rosier seeks out Isabel once more to discuss his predicament. She secretively assures him that Pansy still returns his... (full context)
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...Warburton since she has been married—in fact it has been four years since their last encounter—Isabel is impressed that he seems to bear no ill will against her. Warburton enquires after... (full context)
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...but Osmond has forbidden her from speaking to Rosier. She plans to ask the fearless Isabel to help her change her father’s mind and asks Rosier to be patient. Isabel interrupts... (full context)
Chapter 39
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The narrator shifts to the topic of Ralph and Isabel’s relationship, explaining that Ralph never spoke to Isabel about his objections to Gilbert Osmond again. ... (full context)
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Upon meeting Isabel again after Lord Warburton’s entry to her Thursday evening party, Ralph realizes he should not... (full context)
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...never considered Ralph as a threat. However, once when Ralph overstayed his welcome in Rome, Isabel’s husband protested. Ralph left so he wouldn’t cause further trouble between the couple. This time,... (full context)
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...is interested in getting close to Pansy merely so that he is also nearer to Isabel. Warburton is angry at Ralph’s assumption. But the nobleman does wonder what Isabel will think... (full context)
Chapter 40
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During her three years of marriage, Isabel has had ample time to consider her family and friends’ previous warnings about getting involved... (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 overly familiar... (full context)
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The narrator notes that Isabel and Pansy are rarely apart. One day, one month after Ralph and Lord Warburton have... (full context)
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...Rosier often visits her to request her help in facilitating the union. Merle asks if Isabel can speak to Pansy to see if she has real feelings for Rosier. (full context)
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...Pansy. Merle favors the potential marriage for Pansy with Warburton as an advantageous one, which Isabel vaguely agrees with. (full context)
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Madame Merle believes that Isabel holds significant influence over Lord Warburton and can encourage him to propose to Pansy; Isabel... (full context)
Chapter 41
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In truth, Isabel has to work hard to reconcile the thought of Pansy and Lord Warburton getting married.... (full context)
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Isabel ignores her disbelief that Lord Warburton is truly interested in Pansy when the girl is... (full context)
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Lord Warburton visits the Osmonds’ house for one of Isabel’s Thursday night parties. Isabel finds herself with the opportunity to leave Warburton and Pansy talking... (full context)
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After the party, Isabel sits alone in front of the fireplace. Osmond interrupts her quiet reflections to discuss Pansy’s... (full context)
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Although Isabel expects a harsh rebuke from Osmond concerning her involvement (or lack of it) in shaping... (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.... (full context)
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A servant enters the room to stoke up the fire, with Isabel asking him to also bring candles. She then sits alone into the deep of 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... (full context)
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Isabel comes to realize that Mr. Touchett’s gift of a significant fortune has been a burden... (full context)
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Isabel thinks that living with Osmond is like living in “a house of darkness [and] […]... (full context)
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Isabel remembers fondly her recent visit to Ralph. Her cousin has become a pillar for her... (full context)
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Isabel’s intense internal reflections have reached a climactic frenzy; she stews quietly in front of the... (full context)
Chapter 43
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Three nights later, Isabel takes Pansy to a party. She has been holding Pansy’s flowers for some time while... (full context)
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Pansy returns to dancing and Lord Warburton comes to talk with Isabel. He asks after Pansy and then requests a dance with Isabel. She replies that she... (full context)
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Pansy returns to Isabel, and Lord Warburton engages the young woman in conversation. Isabel notices that he presents “a... (full context)
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Pansy returns to dancing, having promised Lord Warburton a dance later. Isabel reminds Lord Warburton that he had previously indicated he would like to marry Pansy. He... (full context)
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As Isabel and Lord Warburton walk together at the party, they pass a wholly dejected Edward Rosier... (full context)
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Isabel and Lord Warburton exchange a short but intense look, which contains many enigmatic feelings. Isabel... (full context)
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Half an hour later, Isabel is leaving the party with Pansy. Lord Warburton assists them both to their carriage, where... (full context)
Chapter 44
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...invitation to stay with his family for a period. The Countess Gemini is convinced that Isabel leads a more exciting life than her own, but she is not envious of her... (full context)
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...a newspaper article. Henrietta claims that Osmond has tried to break up her friendship with Isabel. The Countess Gemini is not surprised to hear this and encourages Henrietta not to allow... (full context)
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Henrietta plans to visit Isabel in Rome to see if she can repair their friendship. The journalist is worried about... (full context)
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...but disinterested in engaging with Henrietta. The journalist insists that he honor his friendship to Isabel by going to Rome to help her in her unhappy marriage. After some persuasion, Goodwood... (full context)
Chapter 45
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Meanwhile, Isabel has continued to visit her unwell cousin, Ralph, at his hotel in Rome, despite Osmond’s... (full context)
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Isabel contemplates the extreme but plausible actions of breaking her marriage to Osmond, but realizes this... (full context)
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In her despair, Isabel emotionally cries out “Ah, Ralph, you give me no help!”  Her cousin is both shocked... (full context)
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Ralph is concerned that if he and Isabel could convince Lord Warburton to stop pursuing Pansy’s hand in marriage, Osmond would retaliate by... (full context)
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As they continue their discussion, Ralph is disappointed that Isabel’s mask has dropped back firmly into place. He offends Isabel in his desire to prove... (full context)
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Isabel seeks out Pansy and asks her stepdaughter how she feels about Lord Warburton. Isabel suggests... (full context)
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Pansy then reveals to Isabel that her greatest desire in life is to marry Edward Rosier, for she loves him.... (full context)
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Pansy seeks Isabel’s advice on what to do if a man different to Rosier proposed to her. The... (full context)
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Pansy surprises Isabel with her astute take on the situation: Lord Warburton has some affection for Pansy (although... (full context)
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Isabel feels quite relieved after her talk with Pansy that clarifies the situation with Lord Warburton... (full context)
Chapter 46
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...Lord Warburton does not visit the Osmond family home. Osmond notices his absence and asks Isabel about it. She reveals that Warburton promised to write to Osmond about his intentions regarding... (full context)
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...for her well-being. Warburton leaves the house in a gentlemanly manner, at which Pansy tells Isabel that she considers Isabel to be her “guardian angel.” (full context)
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When Osmond is alone with Isabel later that day, he accuses her again of being disloyal to him. Isabel is no... (full context)
Chapter 47
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Three days pass. Henrietta Stackpole informs Isabel that Caspar Goodwood is currently in Rome. This brings up a lot of emotions for... (full context)
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Henrietta asks Isabel why she doesn’t leave Osmond due to their intensely unhappy marriage. Isabel says that she... (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... (full context)
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Isabel asks Goodwood to visit Ralph at his hotel. The American businessman obliges her request, finding... (full context)
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Isabel is pleased and rather proud that Goodwood now also regularly visits Ralph, believing she has... (full context)
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During this time of Henrietta and Goodwood visiting Rome, Isabel is frequented by strange nighttime dreams of Osmond and Madame Merle together. She is not... (full context)
Chapter 48
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...to accompany him and care for him, as does Goodwood per his previous promise to Isabel. The businessman also believes he bores Isabel in Rome; he is also tired of seeing... (full context)
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...once more. The journalist tells the Countess that she was wrong in her belief that Isabel and Lord Warburton were enjoying an affair, with Warburton actually courting Pansy for a period... (full context)
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Henrietta urges Isabel to leave Osmond before their relationship grows yet more dire. Isabel insists that she is... (full context)
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When Isabel visits Ralph before his departure for England, she admits that she is sometimes afraid of... (full context)
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Isabel instructs Ralph to send for her if he desires her company at Gardencourt. Ralph is... (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... (full context)
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Having waited some time so see Isabel privately, Goodwood is able to tell her that he does not want to leave her... (full context)
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Goodwood is quite honest when he also reveals that he still loves Isabel. What’s more, he asks her leave to pity her. He thinks that at least by... (full context)
Chapter 49
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Isabel and Madame Merle have not seen each other for some time, with Merle failing to... (full context)
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...Warburton and suggested that she was looking forward to congratulating Pansy on the couple’s engagement. Isabel felt that Merle was suggesting that Isabel had failed in her duty to persuade the... (full context)
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Isabel realizes what a false friend Madame Merle has been. She has begun to mistrust her... (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... (full context)
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Desiring the awkward conversation to end, Isabel advises that Madame Merle should not despair over Pansy’s marriage prospects, reminding her of Pansy’s... (full context)
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Madame Merle doesn’t take the hint, continuing to harass Isabel with questions about Lord Warburton. The one truth she desires to learn: did the nobleman... (full context)
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That afternoon, Isabel takes a solitary drive alone, wishing to be far away from her home. She wonders... (full context)
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...home. She accuses Osmond being ungrateful for her help in securing his advantageous marriage to Isabel. Merle additionally blames Osmond for shaping her into a person as wicked as himself, stating... (full context)
Chapter 50
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Isabel visits the Coliseum with Pansy and the Countess Gemini. Isabel sees Edward Rosier watching them... (full context)
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Pansy and the Countess Gemini rejoin Isabel. Rosier wants to talk to the Countess, so Isabel and Pansy return to their carriage.... (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... (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... (full context)
Chapter 51
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...that her hospitality in Rome is vulnerable. A week after this episode, Mrs. Touchett sends Isabel a telegram to let her know that Ralph is nearing his death and would like... (full context)
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Osmond claims that Isabel cares greatly for her cousin because Ralph does not give weight to her marriage with... (full context)
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Isabel talks to the Countess Gemini about her predicament. The Countess comforts Isabel somewhat. She also... (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... (full context)
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Shocked, Isabel asks why the Countess Gemini is revealing this secret to her now. The Countess merely... (full context)
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When Isabel questions why Osmond and Madame Merle never married, the Countess Gemini explains that Merle had... (full context)
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Before Isabel takes her leave of the Countess Gemini, the Countess asks if Isabel still plans to... (full context)
Chapter 52
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With the help of her maid, Isabel arranges to leave Rome for England to see her cousin Ralph on his deathbed. But... (full context)
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Isabel is shocked to find that Madame Merle is also at the convent. Merle tries to... (full context)
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Isabel knows that she could lord her newfound knowledge over Madame Merle in “a great moment... (full context)
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Madame Catherine takes Isabel to see Pansy, calling the young woman a “precious charge” who will be pleased to... (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... (full context)
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Isabel is leaving the convent when Madame Merle requests to speak with her again. After checking... (full context)
Chapter 53
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On a train to London, Isabel’s mind has “given up to vagueness.” She experiences confusing visions and is unable to imagine... (full context)
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Isabel considers that her time in Rome has been a total waste. However, she now believes... (full context)
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Isabel is met in London by Henrietta Stackpole, with whom Isabel has corresponded with about her... (full context)
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Isabel is further surprised by the news of Henrietta’s engagement to Mr. Bantling and disappointed by... (full context)
Chapter 54
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Isabel arrives at Gardencourt, where the servants instruct her to wait for Mrs. Touchett in the... (full context)
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Mrs. Touchett greets Isabel in the gallery. Isabel’s aunt has visibly aged but is as sharp as ever. She... (full context)
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Mrs. Touchett also informs Isabel that Lord Warburton is back at Lockleigh, and furthermore engaged to be married to a... (full context)
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Isabel visits Ralph in his room, where he lies for three days without speaking. On the... (full context)
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Isabel tentatively asks Ralph if it is true that he is the reason she became a... (full context)
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Ralph reminds Isabel that if she has experienced hatred in her life so far, she has also been... (full context)
Chapter 55
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The next morning, Isabel senses a ghostly spirit beside her bed. The incident reminds her of Ralph’s assertion upon... (full context)
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Isabel goes to visit Ralph in his room, pausing significantly before she opens his door. She... (full context)
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...a small church to pay their respects to Ralph. The funeral party includes Mrs. Touchett, Isabel, Henrietta Stackpole, Mr. Bantling, and Caspar Goodwood, with Isabel feeling distracted by the latter’s forceful... (full context)
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Isabel remains at Gardencourt for a few days. She is greatly distracted and cannot focus on... (full context)
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One afternoon, Isabel notices Lord Warburton is sitting in Gardencourt’s library. She presumes he is there to visit... (full context)
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With Mrs. Touchett hovering nearby, Lord Warburton explains that he no idea that Isabel was still at Gardencourt. He suggests that the Misses Molyneux would be delighted to see... (full context)
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After Lord Warburton takes his leave of the women, Mrs. Touchett retreats inside, and Isabel takes a seat in the garden. She recollects that she sat on the very same... (full context)
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Isabel sits there in the garden for some time. Twilight is well upon her when she... (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... (full context)
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Goodwood reiterates his life-long love for Isabel and scandalously suggests that he can offer her an escape from Osmond—they can start a... (full context)
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Crying, Isabel repeats her plea for Goodwood to leave. Instead, he glares at Isabel before embracing her... (full context)
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...Goodwood visits Henrietta Stackpole’s residence in London. The servants at Gardencourt have advised him that Isabel is in London. Goodwood is upset to learn that Isabel is no longer there; Henrietta... (full context)