Washington Square is a short novel by Henry James. The book is often compared to Jane Austen's work for the clarity and grace of its prose and its intense focus on family relationships. Dr. Austin Sloper, a wealthy and highly successful physician, lives in Washington Square, New York, with his only surviving child, Catherine. Catherine is a sweet-natured young woman who is a great disappointment to her father, being physically plain and, he believes, dull in terms of personality and intellect. One day, Catherine meets the charming Morris Townsend at a party and is powerfully drawn to him. Morris courts Catherine, aided by Mrs. Penniman, who loves melodrama. Her father disapproves tells her that he will disinherit her if she marries Morris; he then takes her on a twelve month grand tour of Europe. Upon her return Morris breaks off the relationship when Catherine convinces him that her father will never relent.