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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
The novel is set in 1) London, England at Gardencourt, the Touchettís country house and at Lockleigh, Lord Warburtonís house; 2) Albany, New York (briefly); 3) Paris, France (briefly); 4) San Remo in the French Riviera (briefly); 5) Florence, Italy at the Palazzo Crescentini, Mrs. Touchettís house, and other places; and 6) Rome, Italy at the Palazzo Roccanera, Isabel and Gilbert Osmondís house.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
Isabel Archer, a niece of Mrs. Touchettís, who Mrs. Touchett brings to Europe. Isabel Archer inherits a fortune from Mr. Touchett and, after traveling for a year, marries Gilbert Osmond and is unhappy.
Ralph Touchett, son of Mr. Touchett. He is ill with an advanced stage of pulmonary disorder, lung disease. He loves Isabel Archer and lives to watch her progress through life. It is he who arranges for his father to leave Isabel Archer a fortune. He dies at the end of the novel.
Henrietta Stackpole, Isabel Archerís close friend, who is a journalist for the New York Interviewer. She is a modern woman. She is a patriotic proponent of U.S. American superiority over Europe, who ends up marrying an Englishman and settles in England.
Madame Serena Merle, a friend of Mrs. Touchett, she is "forty years old and not pretty though her expression charmed." She is an American expatriate. She was born in Brooklyn. Her father was a U.S. Navy officer. She conspires with Gilbert Osmond to arrange his marriage to Isabel Archer. She does so in order that her daughter, whom she has never acknowledged as such, can have the benefit of Isabelís fortune in making a brilliant marriage. She has been Gilbert Osmondís lover for many years.