On New York City’s Washington Square lives Catherine Sloper, a shy and plain young woman who is tyrannized by her wealthy, overbearing father. When young Morris Townsend begins to court her, Dr. Sloper distrusts his motives, believing that the young man could not possibly love his daughter. Both lovers are obstinate in their affections; but when Dr. Sloper threatens to disinherit Catherine, Townsend disappears, leaving Catherine to humiliation, heartache, and lonely spinsterhood. Years later, after her father’s death, Townsend returns, and Catherine must make up her own mind about his intentions.
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