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The Portrait of a Lady

The Portrait of a Lady


by Henry James

Gilbert Osmond Timeline and Summary

  • Osmond welcomes Pansy back from the convent. He asks her to pick flowers for the nuns.
  • Madame Merle, Osmond’s old friend, convinces him to meet Isabel.
  • Gilbert Osmond calls on Isabel after Madame Merle introduces the two.
  • Osmond invites Isabel over to his house so that she can meet Pansy.
  • Osmond shows Isabel his extensive art collection.
  • Osmond follows Isabel to Rome.
  • Osmond goes to the opera with Isabel and her friends.
  • The ubiquitous Osmond finds Isabel at an art gallery, and asks about Lord Warburton, who just left.
  • After Isabel wildly claims that she still has a lot to see, Osmond tells Isabel that he’ll be waiting for her travels to be over.
  • He professes his love for Isabel, and asks Isabel to visit Pansy before she leaves Florence.
  • Over the next year or so, Osmond continues to hang about, although we don’t know exactly what he’s up to.
  • We don’t see it, but Osmond proposes to Isabel – and she accepts.
  • Isabel’s family and friends don’t approve of the match, but he and Isabel seem happy enough at first, despite the adversity.
  • Osmond waits to tell Pansy about the engagement. When he finally does, she is overjoyed.
  • After two years of married life, Osmond’s charms have worn thin. He is much more menacing than ever before (and that’s saying a lot).
  • Osmond is rude to guests at Isabel’s parties, especially Rosier.
  • Osmond meets Lord Warburton at a Thursday get-together and leads him to Isabel.
  • Jealous and resentful, Osmond hates that Ralph stays in Rome for so long.
  • Osmond expects Isabel to use her power over Lord Warburton to arrange a good marriage for Pansy.
  • Osmond is upset and angered when Lord Warburton’s interest in Pansy falls through. He irrationally blames Isabel for everything.
  • Osmond forbids Isabel from returning to Gardencourt to visit Ralph, saying that their relationship will be irreparable if she leaves now. He claims that he believes that people should be responsible for their decisions