Study Guide

The Portrait of a Lady Chapter 47

By Henry James

Chapter 47

  • Madame Merle has gone to Naples.
  • Henrietta visits Isabel and tells her that Caspar is in town. He has yet to contact Isabel.
  • Isabel worries about seeing Caspar again, since she feels like he had invested all of his happiness in her.
  • Henrietta is a welcome addition to Isabel’s life – she can actually talk honestly with her old friend. Isabel finally confesses that she is unhappy.
  • Isabel claims that she cannot leave Osmond because it would damage her pride. She made the choice to marry him so deliberately and publicly, it would be embarrassing to confess its failure.
  • Osmond despises Henrietta, of course. In fact, Osmond tells Isabel that he does not approve of her friends in general.
  • Good old Mr. Bantling has visited Henrietta in America, and apparently took a liking to the country.
  • Caspar Goodwood visits Isabel in Palazzo Roccanera at six o’clock that night. He also comes to Isabel’s Thursday parties.
  • Osmond takes a liking to Caspar, oddly enough. He admires the young American.
  • Isabel asks Caspar to visit Ralph in his hotel room. He goes, only to find that Henrietta is there. Henrietta and Ralph have become good friends. Ralph has always thought well of Henrietta, though it was not always reciprocated, and, in his hour of need, she turns out to be a great friend and companion.
  • Isabel hopes that Caspar will also turn into a good companion for her cousin, and plans to send him north with Ralph when he returns to England.
  • The Countess Gemini, Rosier, and Madame Merle all arrive in Rome.