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The Portrait of a Lady

The Portrait of a Lady


by Henry James

Henrietta Stackpole Timeline and Summary

  • Henrietta visits Isabel and the Touchetts at Gardencourt.
  • Henrietta shows Isabel the article she’s working on, which focuses on life at Gardencourt. Her friend is unamused, and insists that Henrietta ditch it.
  • Henrietta is intrigued and appalled by Ralph’s lack of occupation.
  • Henrietta accuses Ralph of giving up his American-ness, and of being above marriage. She claims that marriage is a duty, despite the fact that she’s not interested in it.
  • Henrietta and Mrs. Touchett get in a quarrel about American hotels, and about America in general. Henrietta is a patriot extraordinaire.
  • In private, Henrietta tells Isabel about an encounter she had with Caspar Goodwood. She lets Isabel know that Caspar arrived in London with her, with the aim to see Isabel.
  • Henrietta thinks that her friend has led the young Bostonian on.
  • Henrietta sees that Isabel’s stay at Gardencourt has changed her.
  • Henrietta Stackpole asks Ralph for help. Henrietta is determined to marry Isabel to Caspar Goodwood. She insists that Isabel marry an American man and believes Caspar is the best match.
  • Henrietta asks Ralph to invite Caspar to Gardencourt.
  • Henrietta suggests that she and Isabel visit London in order to see more of English society.
  • Henrietta goes to Lockleigh with Isabel.
  • Henrietta meets Ralph’s friend, Mr. Bantling, and decides to stay in London to wait for his sister, Lady Pensil, to invite her for a visit.
  • Henrietta has written to Caspar Goodwood to let him know that Isabel will be alone at night.
  • Henrietta goes to Rome with Mr. Bantling, Isabel, and Ralph.
  • She is unimpressed with Roman art and compares it with American standards.
  • Henrietta goes to Naples with Mr. Bantling.
  • From afar, Henrietta disapproves of Isabel’s engagement to Osmond.
  • She goes to Spain with Mr. Bantling.
  • Henrietta returns to New York, and the gallant Mr. Bantling visits the States to see her – he loves it.
  • Upon her return to Europe, Henrietta visits Countess Gemini in Florence to check on Isabel’s situation. She vows to leave for Rome the very next day to see her friend.
  • At the Uffizi, Henrietta runs into Caspar and asks him to go to Rome with her.
  • Although Osmond despises her, Henrietta and Isabel manage to hang out a lot – Isabel can actually be honest with her female friend.
  • Henrietta also renews her acquaintance with Ralph; the two finally become close friends.
  • Henrietta volunteers to go to England with Ralph.
  • Henrietta urges Isabel to leave Osmond before things get worse.
  • Upon her return to England, Henrietta meets Isabel at the train station in London.
  • The intrepid girl reporter has a big story to break: she tells Isabel that she and Mr. Bantling are engaged. Isabel thinks this is hilarious, although she’s also saddened by the idea that Henrietta is giving in to matrimony.
  • Henrietta attends Ralph’s funeral; her hard-boiled exterior breaks down, and she cries.
  • Henrietta answers the door for Caspar Goodwood when he looks for Isabel. Isabel stayed at Henrietta’s the night before, but she has returned to Rome.
  • Henrietta walks with Caspar Goodwood and attempts to console him.