illustration of Isabel Archer with a hand fan positioned between two silhouetted profiles

The Portrait of a Lady

by Henry James

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Chapters 1-5 Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. What are Ralph and Warburton discussing in the garden?

2. How does Ralph’s appearance differ from Warburton’s?

3. How does Warburton describe Isabel after he meets her?

4. How did Isabel’s father “squander” his fortune?

5. Where does Mrs. Touchett live most of the time?

6. Why did Mrs. Touchett travel to America?

7. How does Edmund Ludlow describe Isabel?

8. What city is Caspar Goodwood from?

9. Where in the United States did Daniel Touchett live before he moved to England?

10. According to Mrs. Touchett, what are American girls “ridiculously mistaken” about?

1. Ralph and Warburton are discussing their mutual problem of being young, bored, and wealthy.

2. Warburton is a handsome, well-dressed man, while Ralph is homely and ungainly.

3. Warburton calls Isabel an “interesting woman.”

4. Mr. Archer spent all his money on gambling and socializing in America and Europe.

5. She lives in a villa in Florence.

6. Mrs. Touchett wanted to look after her investments in America and visit her nieces.

7. Edmund says she is “written in a foreign tongue” and claims he “can’t make her out.”

8. Caspar is from Boston, although he travels frequently to New York on business.

9. He lived in Rutland, Vermont.

10. Mrs. Touchett says most American girls think they know a great deal about the world, but they are mistaken. In fact, they know very little.

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Chapters 6-10 Questions and Answers