The American | Study Guide

Henry James

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The American | Chapter 25 | Summary



Newman visits a duchess whom he had met at the engagement ball. His intention is to reveal the Bellegarde secret and ruin the family's reputation. While she is playing hostess to him, another guest arrives, and he realizes it is silly to wait around for the other guest to leave just to have his revenge on the Bellegardes. He leaves.

At Mrs. Tristram's suggestion Newman goes to London, but coincidentally he runs into Noémie and her father. Noémie is accompanied by none other than Lord Deepmere. Lord Deepmere is entranced by Noémie.


The matter of Lord Deepmere ends with an amusing twist. Lord Deepmere, who was briefly a competitor with Newman for Claire, now replaces Valentin as Noémie's companion of the day. The entire scene is an awkward reminder of M. Nioche's uncomfortable situation, as Newman tries to avoid running into Noémie and her new man (whom he doesn't yet recognize) only to sit down directly next to her father. This scene also underscores the fact that Noémie, for all her moral flaws, is the only main character who seems completely untouched by all that has happened. As Valentin always predicted for her, she has the ambition and the ability to find success.

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