The Portrait of a Lady Chapters 36-40 Summary and Analysis

Henry James

Chapters 36-40 Summary and Analysis

A few years have passed. We learn that Isabel has married Osmond and they have recently lost their only child, a baby boy. The Osmonds are living in Rome with Pansy, who has grown into an attractive and charming 19-year-old woman.

Edward (Ned) Rosier, the American we had been introduced to earlier in the novel, has traveled to Rome to ask for Pansy’s hand in marriage. Ned met Pansy earlier, in the summer, when they were both staying at a resort in Switzerland. Now, in Rome, Ned approaches Madame Merle and asks her to intervene on his behalf. He believes Pansy loves him and thinks Isabel will not object to the marriage. Ned is wary, however, of Pansy’s father; he doubts Osmond will approve....

(The entire section is 1615 words.)