Study Guide

The Portrait of a Lady Chapter 8

By Henry James

Chapter 8

  • Lord Warburton invites Isabel over to his estate, Lockleigh. Mrs. Touchett and Ralph plan to go, too.
  • Lord Warburton plans to have two of his sisters come and visit Isabel in the meanwhile.
  • Lord Warburton has already given Isabel the run-down on his family: he has two brothers and four sisters, two unmarried and two married.
  • Ralph and Isabel discuss Lord Warburton. To Isabel’s surprise, Ralph expresses his pity for Lord Warburton. He thinks Lord Warburton is miserable because, amidst his luxuries, he doesn’t know what he should be.
  • Mr. Touchett brings Lord Warburton up when he sits with Isabel in the afternoon. He warns her not to fall in love with him, and she says she would only fall in love with someone he approves of.
  • Mr. Touchett hopes that people like Lord Warburton, whose politics are rather radical, wait until he’s dead to start a revolution in England. Isabel is, of course, excited by the idea of a revolution, and hopes that she’ll be able to witness it.
  • Mr. Touchett lists all of Lord Warburton’s most prestigious social roles and says that, even if there were a revolution, no one would hurt Lord Warburton because everyone’s too fond of him.
  • Isabel thinks that it’s a pity that Lord Warburton couldn’t be a martyr, even if he got the chance.
  • Mr. Touchett decides that he does have reason to pity Lord Warburton after all.