The Portrait of a Lady: Chapter 47 - Summary & Analysis

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Chapter XLVII


      Three days after Warburton’s departure Henrietta met Isabel and told her that Goodwood was in Rome too. Henrietta was intolerable to Osmond, she was not invited to the but Isabel went out frequently with her. She also confessed; to Henrietta that she was unhappy.

      Caspar Goodwood was invited to the Thursday evening party, And Osmond and he got along fairly well. Isabel asked Goodwood to visit Ralph in the hotel, where Henrietta looked after Ralph. Isabel has plans to send Goodwood away with Ralph. Rosier often writes to Isabel without being favored with a reply. Countess Gemini arrives from Florence. Madame Merle., who had gone to Naples, also returns to Rome and smilingly asks Isabel why had she sent away Lord Warburton.

Critical Analysis

      In this chapter, we get the description of the major characters through Osmond’s words. What is particularly interesting about Osmond’s descriptions is not the fact that they are cruel and vindictive but that they have an unmistakable dimension of truth in them. This is an admirable and considerable aspect of James’s art of characterization. We also have the humor of “the international scene” in Henrietta’s report of Mr. Bantling’s American visit.

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