Isabel Archer, from New York, is invited by her rich family to visit their estate, near London. There she meets a robust man, Lord Warburton, who proposes. She declines his proposal, as well as Caspar Goodwood's. She feels that a marriage like either of these would infringe upon her freedom. She finally decides to marry an American expatriate, Gilbert Osmond. This is when life gets especially complicated for Isabel.
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