Neither brilliant nor particularly charming, heiress Catherine Sloper is set to marry Mr. Townsend. Unfortunately, her domineering father wants to protect her from a potential fortune hunter. Who will win? And it is all worth it in the end? James brings the conflict to life, showing how difficult it is for Catherine to disobey her father, even though he has underestimated her greatly. Washington Square is based on a true story that was told to him by his actress-friend Fanny Kimble. It was arguably one of James' most famous novels, even though he didn't care for it much, leaving it out of the New York Edition of his fiction. Pity, given that Washington Square continues to find new fans, thanks to its timeless theme and charming setting, the New York neighbourhood James was born in.