Henry James's grandfather immigrated to the United States in 1789 and was a successful venture capitalist, who owned a canal and made a fortune. The grandfather had 3 wives and 16 children.
Henry's father inherited wealth and was a philosopher. There were five children in the family. Henry was the second child. His sister was an invalid, who only lived to her early 40s. Henry traveled extensively with his family.
Henry was not the only famous James from that family. His brother William was the very famous psychologist. It is said that William wrote psychology as if it were fiction, and Henry wrote fiction as if it were psychology. Both William and Henry were Calvinists, but we didn't see evidence of a religious point of view in this novel.
Portrait of a Lady is considered to be the best of the novels of Henry James. Henry's insight into the lives and emotions of his