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The Portrait of a Lady

The Portrait of a Lady was, like Roderick Hudson, begun in Florence, during three months spent there in the
spring of 1879. Like Roden'ck and like The Amen'can, it had been designed for publication in The Atlantic
Monthly, where it began to appear in 1880. It differed from its two predecessors, however, in finding a course also open to it, from month to month, in Macmillan's Magazine; which was to be for me one of the lastoccasions of simultaneous 'serialisation' in the two countries that the changing conditions of literary
intercourse between England and the United States had up to then left unaltered. It is a long novel, and I
was long in writing it; I remember being again much occupied with it, the following year, during a stay of
several weeks made in Venice. I had rooms on Riva Schiavoni, at the top of a house near the passage
leading off to San Zaccaria; the waterside life, the wondrous lagoon spread before me, and the ceaseless
human chatter of Venice came in at my windows, to which I seem to myself to have been constantly driven,
in the fruitless fidget of composition............

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