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The Portrait of a Lady Audiobook

The Portrait of a Lady

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Publisher's Summary

The Portrait of a Lady tells the compelling and ultimately tragic tale of a beautiful young American woman's encounter with European sophistication. Set principally in England and Italy, the story follows Isabel Archer's fortunes as a variety of admirers vie for her hand. Her choice will be crucial, and she is not wanting for advice, whether from the generous-spirited Ralph Touchett or the charming Madame Merle.

The Portrait of a Lady was an immediate success upon publication; it remains the most popular of James' longer works and is generally regarded as the masterpiece of his early period.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

Public Domain (P)2016 Naxos AudioBooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (28 )
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4.4 (24 )
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4.7 (25 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Bob 27/10/2016
    Bob 27/10/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Juliet Stevenson"

    Juliet Stevenson read this novel with magical skill. Everything she reads is brilliantly done.
    The novel is one of the great 19th-century novels and deserved a fine reading. I recommend also her reading of the novels of Virginia Woolf.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MRS 30/09/2016
    MRS 30/09/2016 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    6
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    "gripping novel"

    wonderful narration - Juliet Stevenson at her best. the characterisation and storyline henry james at his finest . I would strongly recommend .

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C 07/10/2017
    C 07/10/2017 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Disappointing"

    An ambiguous ending, how dissatisfying. Rest of the novel is good although slightly unbelievable in parts. I adore juliet Stevensons narration usually but her French accent for pansy grated after a while. Altogether a disappointing read in the end, especially with such a long novel.... an unsatisfying conclusion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Diggle London UK 01/05/2017
    Paula Diggle London UK 01/05/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Excellent"

    A class ic English novel read superlatively well. it's easy to get lost reading Henry James' prose but Juliet Stephenson makes it so comprehensible. A most enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • daniela
    14/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator missed main character voice"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Said that Juliet Stevenson is one of my favorite narrator, she made sound the heroin, Isabel Archer, like an idiot.Forgive me Juilet I truly love you but a young American doesn't have to sound idiotic, she supposed to be very smart.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Andre
    Hercules, California, United States
    30/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Real Deep"
    If you could sum up The Portrait of a Lady in three words, what would they be?

    personal, deep, real


    What other book might you compare The Portrait of a Lady to and why?

    Portrait of a Lady is so singular that I would be hard pressed to find a comparison, but I suppose "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Brontë comes closest because they both feature strong, independent women. Portrait of a Lady is groundbreaking in its realism, pulling away from the romanticism of Jane Eyre.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I enjoyed the dialogue both exterior and interior the most. It sounded fresh and real like people today. I could not believe what I was hearing. Isabel Archer's thoughts were my thoughts. I felt like she spoke to and for me. How Henry James got into the mind of this female character amazed me. She is among the most complex women in English literature.


    Any additional comments?

    Do not put off reading this for four years like I did. Read it now. You will be rewarded with one of the richest and most nourishing novels in the English language. I can see why James' masterpiece was voted high as one of the hundred greatest novels of all time.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    07/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't get past the terrible American accents."
    What did you like best about The Portrait of a Lady? What did you like least?

    I didn't finish listening to this audiobook because Ms. Stevenson's American accent was terrible. I loved her reading of Middlemarch, but she really dropped the ball on The Portrait of a Lady. The characters sounded stiff and two dimensional and overall, the quality of the reading distracted from the story.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • foodwaterbooks
    USA
    16/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love Juliet Stevenson, but she has a terrible ear"
    What did you love best about The Portrait of a Lady?

    not sure I loved it but there are flighs of language that are deeply wonderful


    What other book might you compare The Portrait of a Lady to and why?

    I think it is Diceknsian while trying to be Whartonian. James is in his own way all the time--loving his own cleverness. it's like French cooking--take some meat, do omething to it, then do something else to that and then do something alse to it it all


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Juliet Stevenson?

    Perhaps, but not one where she impersonated Americans. She and/or the director seem to have a very narrow view of us. Her young bright girls sound like middle aged matrons, vocally, her Isabelle sounded half-witted and breathy, Ms. Stackpole a screeching bourgeoise twice her intended age. her Englishmen did not have much to distinguish among them. Im a third-generation New Yorker, well acquainted with the different ways we can all sound and sadly she never came close. Even the odious Gilbert had less personality than described for him.and Pansy-! surely an Englishwoman can do a better French accentnnn.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Couldn't


    Any additional comments?

    Still finishing it. So tragic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • clridenhour
    Charlotte, NC
    08/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So much detail..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Henry James is so verbose in his descriptions of...everything. From the clothes the characters wear to the tiniest inflections in their voices, there is a back story to every minute aspect of each characters life. I listened and listened and listened, thinking there would be some explosive climax, but alas the pinnacle of the story is barely a blip. I guess my disappointment in that taints my view of this book as completely boring and a waste of time. When it was written, I'm sure there was nothing else to do and the story might be considered quite torrid. I tried watching the movie also, and that was even worse.


    What could Henry James have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Get to the point more quickly.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The opening scene when Isabel Archer appears to Ralph and Lord Warburton for the first time. The story held such promise then.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I saw the movie and would not see it again, nor recommend it.


    Any additional comments?

    Juliet Stevenson is very good as the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marii
    Wilmington, CALIFornia USA
    01/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good read but slow start"

    The characters are nicely developed. Great book. The story in itself takes some time to develop but that ending. Wow

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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