Washington Square (1881), by Henry James, tells the story of Catherine
Sloper, the plain, obedient daughter of the widowed, well-to-do Dr.
August Sloper of Washington Square. When a handsome, feckless
man-about-town proposes to Catherine, her father forbids the marriage
because he believes the man to be after Catherine's fortune and future
inheritance. The conflict between father, daughter, and suitor provokes
consequences in the lives of all three that make this story one of
James's most piercingly memorable.
Listen to chapter 1 of Washington Square: