The Portrait of a Lady Characters

Henry James

List of Characters

Master List of Characters
Mr. Daniel Touchett—A wealthy American banker who now resides in England.

Ralph Touchett—Mr. Touchett’s ailing son.

Lord Warburton—A wealthy English aristocrat and close friend of Ralph Touchett.

Mrs. Lydia Touchett—Mr. Touchett’s wife and Ralph’s mother. She has arrived from America with her niece, Isabel Archer.

Isabel Archer—A young American woman who is visiting England for the first time. She is Mr. and Mrs.
Touchett’s niece, and Ralph’s cousin.

Lilian Ludlow—Isabel’s sister who lives with her husband and children in New York City.

Edmund Ludlow—A New York lawyer, married to Lilian.

Edith Archer—Isabel’s other sister. She lives in the American West with her engineer husband.

Caspar Goodwood—A young American businessman who is in love with Isabel.

Henrietta Stackpole—Isabel’s opinionated friend from America.

Miss Molyneux—Lord Warburton’s sister.

Mildred Molyneux—Warburton’s youngest sister.

Vicar of Lockleigh—Lord Warburton’s brother; a burly ex-wrestler who is now a clergyman.

Bob Bantling—Ralph’s bachelor friend from London.

Madame Serena Merle—A friend of the Touchetts who meets Isabel at Gardencourt.

Edward (Ned) Rosier—A young American, living in Paris, who had been acquainted with Isabel’s family in the United States.

Mr. and Mrs. Luce—An American expatriate couple who are living in Paris.

Gilbert Osmond—An old friend of Madame Merle’s who is living with his daughter in Italy.

Pansy Osmond—Gilbert Osmond’s young daughter.

Sister Catherine—A nun from the convent in Switzerland where Pansy attends school.

Sister Justine—Another nun from the Swiss convent.

Countess Gemini—Gilbert Osmond’s sister.

Mr. Hilary—Daniel Touchett’s attorney.


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Isabel's evolution from a charming and innocent girl with bright aspirations to a woman whose maturity has been achieved at the cost of much...

(The entire section is 847 words.)

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Isabel Archer

Isabel Archer, the heroine of the novel. An heiress orphaned at an early age, she uses her freedom to go to Europe to be educated in the arts of life lacking in her own country. She draws the interest and adoration of many people, all of whom feel that they can make a contribution to her growth, or at least can use her. Isabel is somewhat unworldly at the time of her marriage to Gilbert Osmond. After three years of resisting the social mold imposed on her by Osmond and his Roman ménage, Isabel faces a dilemma in which her intelligence and honesty vie with her sense of obligation. Sensitive to her own needs as well as to those of others, she is aware of the complicated future she faces.

Gilbert Osmond

Gilbert Osmond, an American expatriate. He finds in Rome an environment suited to his artistic taste and devotes his time and tastes solely to pleasing himself.

Madame Merle

Madame Merle, Isabel’s friend. Madame Merle was formerly Osmond’s mistress and is the mother of his daughter Pansy. A clever, vigorous woman of considerable perspicacity, she promotes Isabel’s marriage to Osmond.

Ralph Touchett

Ralph Touchett, Isabel’s ailing cousin. He appreciates the fine qualities of Isabel’s nature. Distressed by what he considers her disastrous marriage, he sees to it that his own and his father’s estates come to Isabel.


(The entire section is 519 words.)