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The Portrait of a Lady is the story of a spirited young American woman, Isabel Archer, who, in "confronting her destiny", finds it overwhelming. Isabel, originally from Albany, is invited by her maternal aunt, Lydia Touchett, to visit London, following the death of Isabel's father. When the elder Touchett grows ill, at the request of his son, he leaves much of his estate to Isabel. With her large legacy, Isabel travels to Italy and meets several dubious people interested in her wealth.