A source from which something develops. This is James' word of choice for the seed of inspiration for his novels. He discusses at length how his sense of a single character, Isabel Archer, was the "germ" of his idea for The Portrait of a Lady. He had no idea what kind of "plot" he would have when he set out to write the book, but rather, he thought that his entire "story" lay in how Isabel would react to certain persons and situations (Preface, vi).
Unlike its modern usage, this term does not suggest sexual relations, but rather mere flirtation (78).
French for 'dowery', the money a woman brings with her to a marriage (277).
square with one's views
To accord with one's opinions; to fit one's worldview (297).
Silly and pointless (300).
French term for 'trinket'; a collector's item (315).
The conventional name in English for fine tin-glazed pottery on a delicate pale buff earthenware body; originally associated by French speakers with wares exported from Faenza in central Italy (317).
False, fictional (376).
An open-minded approach to religion, allowing for doubt and a variety of beliefs (381).
A chaperone; an older woman acting as a governess (388).
An idiomatic expression meaning to delay or wait (as in to wait to fire) (421).
To speak or write many words about someone or something (436).
A bell tower (435).
A female stock character in opera and theater (437).
Cheerfully; in a happy manner (437).
Showing candidness or childlike simplicity (441).
Difficult to understand (450).
Exit; way out (495).
A feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements (267)
Not wanting to reveal one's thoughts; silent; withdrawn.
Expressed clearly; bright.
The Portrait of a Lady Questions and Answers
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