The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
A searching exploration of decision making in love and life, a detailed depiction of European and American manners at the end of the nineteenth century, a crowded canvas of characters working out their destinies—The Portrait of a Lady offers an abundance of riches. In this 1881 novel Henry James takes the traditional Victorian marriage plot to an unprecedented level of psychological complexity and social significance.
Like the other great literary "portrait," James Joyce's account of Stephen Daedalus, The Portrait of a Lady uses an extraordinary individual as a focal point for considering questions about individual freedom, social responsibility, and the place of art in civilization. In Isabel Archer, the intelligent young American “affronting her destiny,” James drew one of his most successful and affecting characters. As Isabel encounters Europe, draws close to her cousin Ralph Touchett, befriends a range of women and men, and is courted by widely disparate suitors, James unfolds both Isabel’s character and the complex world around her. When Isabel’s choices involve her in relationships she can understand only dimly, James portrays the depths of thought and emotion that underlie the seemingly placid surface of everyday life and asks how an individual can act responsibly toward others without betraying the self.
“The advantage, the luxury, as well as the torment and responsibility of the novelist, is that there is no limit to what he may attempt as an executant — no limit to his possible experiments, efforts, discoveries, successes.”
– Henry James - The Art of Fiction (1884)
Participants are required to obtain the specified editions in order to facilitate the group’s ability to find and cite portions of the text during discussion.
Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady, Norton Critical Edition (second edition) (1995)
CAD $1300 includes five weekday morning seminars, lunches, guided art walks, afternoon speakers, two receptions, a dinner and movie night, and a broad array of cultural and social activities.
ADDITIONAL CONCERT EXCURSION
An add-on classical concert performance, part of the Toronto Summer Music Festival, will be available in 2013.
You are responsible for booking your own accommodation. Click here for more information.
DISCOUNTS – one per registrant
- Participants who have attended Toronto Pursuits at least five times receive a CAD $150 discount.
- Register with a friend, and if one or both are first time participants, each receives a CAD $150 discount.