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The Portrait of a Lady

The Portrait of a Lady

by Henry James

The Portrait of a Lady Chapter 12 Summary

  • Isabel stands, not wanting Lord Warburton to sit with her. They begin taking a stroll.
  • It’s clear that Lord Warburton has something specific on his mind.
  • Surprise! Lord Warburton professes his love for Isabel. He asks her to marry him.
  • Isabel reflects on how romantic and perfect the moment would have seemed to her three months ago. Right now, though, she’s just not into it.
  • Isabel promises Lord Warburton that she will consider his proposal, and not take too long before giving him an answer.
  • Lord Warburton confesses that he’s afraid of Isabel’s mind. Isabel admits that she is, too.
  • Forlorn, Lord Warburton tells Isabel that they don’t have to live at Lockleigh if she doesn’t like the moat – they can go anywhere. Overcome with disappointment, he leaves.
  • Isabel, left alone again, knows that she won’t marry Lord Warburton.
  • Reflecting upon her choice, Isabel fears for herself.

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