Portrait of a Lady: Character Profiles
Caspar Goodwood is a wealthy American who remains steadfast in his devotion to Isabel from the beginning to the end of the novel.
This is the sister of Gilbert Osmond and regarded by most as either immoral or too light. She also reveals the secret between Osmond and Madame Merle.
Rosier’s love for Pansy, and her love for him, is thwarted by Osmond.
Osmond, the father of Pansy and husband of Isabel, is depicted as one who seeks to be superior to the rest of the world. For the few he does not feel superior to, he envies instead.
Henrietta is Isabel’s friend from America and works as a journalist. She is notable for her plain speaking and patriotism.
Isabel is the central character and, some may argue, the eponymous heroine. She is American and through her James depicts the clash between New World provincialism and Old Word cynicism. She is also a cipher for examining the growth from independent young woman to trapped, married lady.
Lord Warburton is another of Isabel’s suitors and is a neighbor of the Touchett family in England.
Madame Serena Merle
Madame Merle is depicted and described as highly ambitious and one who plots to achieve the outcome she desires. She is guilty of scheming for the match between Osmond and Isabel despite knowing his heartlessness.
Mr. Daniel Touchett
The father of Ralph and uncle of Isabel, he is a wealthy American banker who has lived in England for 30 years.
This is the aunt of Isabel and mother of Ralph. She is characterized by her lack of imagination and brusque approach.
This is the compliant daughter of Osmond who comes to surprise Isabel with her lucidity.
Ralph is the cousin of Isabel and is instrumental in persuading his father to split his will between them. It is because of Ralph, therefore, that Isabel becomes a wealthy woman.