Current book: The Portrait of a Lady
Pages read: 198 - 260
Well, Mr. Touchett dies in good time and, true to his word, leave Isabel lots and lots of cash. She's shocked and overwhelmed, but manages to collect herself enough to take advantage of the money and tour Europe. She heads first to Paris and then to Rome and Venice with Mrs. Touchett. She's still trying to figure out what it is that she wants to achieve in life, but she has a pretty fun time looking at museums and antiquities while she's working on that.
Madame Merle, who is also in Italy, has a friend named Gilbert Osmond, who has a 15-year-old daughter that has just left her convent school. It seems like Madame Merle is half in love with Gilbert, but that doesn't stop her from recommending that he marry Isabel. He agrees to meet her because he's interested in his new fortune. Since he's charming and attractive, she immediately likes him.
That's your lot for this round. It seems that now we're going to learn the perils of a young girl who falls prey to fortune-hunting. I wish I had more to say, but Henry James is so busy presenting a cautionary tale for all independent-minded young women that he's forgotten to do anything else. Honestly, I feel like I'm reading an admonitory pamphlet. Except it's so, so long. (Want to know an incredibly shocking fact? This book was written in installments for a magazine. That means James was paid by the word. Are you terribly shocked?)
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