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MonkeyNotes-Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
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After the death, Isabel and Mrs. Touchett travel to Paris. Isabel is not impressed with the American expatriates there with whom Mrs. Touchett has social intercourse. They are extremely politically reactionary and attempt to maintain American values and even its decor in the midst of Paris. Of this community, Isabel meets a childhood friend, Ned Rosier, who is a collector of art objects. Next, Isabel and Mrs. Touchett go to San Remo to visit Ralph, who stays there for his health once a year. Ralph talks to Isabel about his ideas of what her wealth will bring her in the way of opportunities for exercising liberty.

Then, Isabel and Mrs. Touchett go to Florence to Mrs. Touchettís house there. Madame Merle introduces Isabel to Gilbert Osmond and his fifteen-year-old daughter, Pansy. Gilbert Osmond visits Isabel almost daily. Isabel sees him in his home a second time and finds his life among water colors and art objects very attractive. While she is talking to him inside, Madame Merle and the Countess Gemini, Gilbert Osmondís jaded sister, are in the garden watching Pansy and talking. The Countess threatens to tell Isabel something that would warn her against Gilbert and Madame Merle, but Madame Merle threatens her and she backs down. Ralph comes to Florence and takes Isabel and others on a trip to Rome. After they arrive, Gilbert Osmond also arrives as does Lord Warburton. When Lord Warburton sees him, he asks Ralph about Mr. Osmond. Ralph does not like Osmond but doesnít specify the reasons.


In Volume Two, Isabel sends Warburton away and Gilbert Osmond smugly approves. Osmond tells Isabel of his affection for her. Isabel goes home to Florence before Gilbert does and, at his request, goes to visit Pansy who has been living alone while her father has been away. She is very attracted to Pansyís innocence and passivity as well as her submissiveness toward her father. Isabel takes a year to travel throughout Europe. She begins her travels with her sister, Lilian, and Lilianís family, and then she travels with Madame Merle to the East. Back in Rome she sees Gilbert Osmond. Then she returns to Florence. Caspar Goodwood visits her at her auntís house and she tells him she is engaged to Gilbert Osmond. Ralph hears the news and is horrified by it, thinking of it as a capitulation of all Isabelís values on liberty. Isabel discusses the engagement with Ralph who reveals his opinion of it. This revelation constitutes a break between the cousins, leaving Isabel isolated from everyone. She spends her time with Gilbert making plans for the future and spending time with Pansy and, sometimes, with the Countess Gemini.

Three years later, there is a meeting between Ned Rosier and Madame Merle. She tells him the Osmonds are unhappily married and that Isabel has no influence with her husband. He is in love with Pansy Osmond and wants Madame Merle to intercede for him with Gilbert Osmond. The next evening is Isabel Osmondís weekly "evening at home." Following Madame Merleís advice, Edward Rosier attends and speaks to Gilbert Osmond who flatly refuses his proposal that he be allowed to see Pansy Osmond. Lord Warburton visits the Osmonds that evening as well. He tells Isabel that Ralph is dying. He tells Isabel he wants to marry. He meets Pansy and finds her attractive. Pansy assures Ned Rosier that they will be able to marry eventually. She tells him she will elicit Isabelís help.

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