We first see Madame de Vionnet through the eyes of Lambert Strether as a kind of idealized romantic character. She does not turn out to be the disgraceful woman he was expecting when he left Woollett, and Strether goes to the opposite extreme in his evaluation of her. This beautiful half-English, half-French woman, married to a count but not living with him, represents to Strether a world of refinement and culture, and he attributes to her influence every worthwhile change he has found in Chad. Madame de Vionnet, however, has another side to her character: She is a woman in love with a younger man, and her charming detachment dissolves in the attempt to keep Chad at her side. Still, she displays admirable courage in her dealings with Strether and the Pococks. Strether himself falls in love with her, and even his discovery that she and Chad are lovers cannot really change his opinion of her.