“I'm yours for ever--for ever and ever": First Edition of Henry James' The Portrait of a Lady

  • The Portrait of a Lady.

The Portrait of a Lady.


Item Number: 78076

Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1881.

First edition of the last and most accomplished work of fiction during James’ apprentice years. Octavo, original cloth. First edition, first issue with 1882 on title page and “1881.” on copyright page. In near fine condition with light rubbing. A very nice example.

The Portrait of a Lady was well received at its time of publication. James began with the simple idea of a young American woman confronting her destiny, and from this created the character of the protagonist, and a detailed plot. It presents, typically of James, a trans-Atlantic panorama, and an examination of the old affluent world of Europe and Britain colliding with the new harsher world of America. James examines the psychology of human consciousness and motivation. “The Portrait of a Lady is entirely successful in giving one the sense of having met somebody far too radiantly good for this world" (Rebecca West). It was adapted in 1996 by director Jane Campion, into film starring Nicole Kidman as Isabel, John Malkovich as Osmond, and Barbara Hershey as Madame Merle.

Ask a Question