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The Portrait of a Lady

The Portrait of a Lady


by Henry James

Pansy Osmond Timeline and Summary

  • Pansy, at fifteen years old, returns to Osmond’s house in Florence from the convent.
  • Pansy picks flowers for the nuns and then for Madame Merle.
  • Pansy meets Isabel and seems to like her… then again, she’s so polite she seems to like everyone.
  • Pansy proudly makes tea for her father’s guests.
  • Isabel visits Pansy in Florence when her father is away, and is taken with the little lady, who seems too perfect to be true.
  • Pansy, now sixteen, sometimes walks with Osmond and Isabel in the Cascine Park.
  • Pansy learns about her father’s engagement and congratulates Isabel genuinely. This kid is an angel.
  • Pansy attends Osmond and Isabel’s wedding.
  • Pansy falls in love with Rosier, but is determined to obey her father’s wishes.
  • Pansy meets Lord Warburton and finds him to be a nice man, though she is uninterested in him.
  • Without Osmond, Pansy and Isabel attend a fancy ball. Everyone’s there, including Rosier and Lord Warburton.
  • Pansy obeys her father’s wish for her not to dance with Rosier, but she obviously still has feelings for him.
  • Dramatically but honestly, Pansy claims that she would rather be alone forever if she can’t be with Rosier.
  • After her time in the world has, as Osmond sees it, soiled her, Pansy returns to the convent according to her father’s wish.
  • When Isabel visits her, Pansy begs her stepmother to take her away. She fears that Isabel will not return from England.
  • Isabel asks if Pansy will come away with her to England.
  • Although she wants to, Pansy can’t run away with Isabel. Instead, she chooses to do as her father commands and stay in the convent.