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    Introduction

    Luckhurst, Roger (2009) Introduction. In: Luckhurst, Roger (ed.) Portrait of a Lady (Henry James). Oxford World’s Classics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199217946.

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    Abstract

    Book synopsis: Henry James's most popular novel, this new edition introduces Portrait as both a culmination of Victorian Realism and the beginnings of the emergence of a new 'Modernist' style that explores interior states of consciousness as well as the individual's place in society. Thorough notes pay special attention to the numerous changes James made between the first edition and the revised New York Edition, reproduced here. Excellent contextualizing introduction discusses the pivotal place of the novel in James's career and on the cusp of Modernism, its place in the tradition of the Bildungsroman, and James's famous literary style. Up-to-date bibliography. New chronology . New to this edition Introduction by Roger Luckhurst Up-to-date bibliography Chronology of the author Explanatory Notes Re-set text 'One ought to choose something very deliberately, and be faithful to that.' Isabel Archer is a young, intelligent, and spirited American girl, determined to relish her first experience of Europe. She rejects two eligible suitors in her fervent commitment to liberty and independence, declaring that she will never marry. Thanks to the generosity of her devoted cousin Ralph, she is free to make her own choice about her destiny. Yet in the intoxicating worlds of Paris, Florence, and Rome, her fond illusions of self-reliance are twisted by the machinations of her friends and apparent allies. What had seemed to be a vista of infinite promise steadily closes around her and becomes instead a 'house of suffocation'. Considered by many as one of the finest novels in the English language, this is Henry James's most poised achievement, written at the height of his fame in 1881. It is at once a dramatic Victorian tale of betrayal and a wholly modern psychological study of a woman caught in a web of relations she only comes to understand too late. This edition reproduces the revised New York Edition, with James's own Preface.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Arts > English and Humanities
    Research Centre: Contemporary Literature, Centre for
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 17:14
    Last Modified: 07 Dec 2016 15:38
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/9331

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