My Newest Illustrated Classic: The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
I am so excited to announce my newest illustrated book The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, available for pre-order on June 1st.
It seems to me that Henry James is one of those authors that everyone has vaguely heard of, but no one has actually read. He was on my shelves for ten years before I finally sat down to read one of his books. He first landed on my shelf those many years ago not because I was interested in the man himself, but because I had read about his close friendship with Edith Wharton. Any friend of Edith is a friend of mine, ya know? And yet, years passed without me learning a thing more about him.
In some ways, I’m glad I waited to read The Portrait of a Lady, though. I don’t think I would have appreciated it the same way if I had read it ten years ago. It’s a slow burn; full of intent and depth. It follows the coming of age of Isabel Archer – from her triumph to her fall.
This is the book that in large part inspired Edith Wharton to write The Age of Innocence. Both books are incredible works of art on their own merit. I read Henry James because I love Edith Wharton, and in turn I’ve come away with a new favorite author. These illustrations are some of my favorite I’ve ever done and this book has a special place in my heart.
This beautiful hardcover edition of The Portrait of a Lady features original cover art and several full color illustrations on the inner pages. It is complete and unabridged. The book will be available exclusively on my website, and will open for pre-order starting on June 1st at 10am CST. All pre-ordered books will receive a free bookplate.
From the back:
“Whatever life you lead you must put your soul in it.”Free-spirited American Isabel Archer, a young woman who grew up haphazardly on books and adventures under the care of her widowed father, finds herself embracing her destiny when she travels to Europe after her father dies. Her aunt and uncle welcome her bright spirit to Gardencourt, their beautiful English estate, where she effortlessly assimilates to a new lifestyle.When proposals come from all sides, Isabella maintains that marriage would hinder her treasured independence – she is desperate to make something wonderful of her life, without the crutch of the wealth of a man. But when she comes into an extensive inheritance of her own, her newly colored freedom and the introduction of the enigmatic Gilbert Osmond chip away at that old resolve.The Portrait of a Lady is a forceful clash between Old World ideals and New World ideals. James profoundly explores themes of personal freedom, responsibility, and betrayal in this tour de force that leaves the reader breathless. This edition has been lovingly brought to life with original illustrations by Haleigh DeRocher.