Year: 1963

Location: Lyric Theatre

Part: Merton Densher

Story: An early scene from the play with Kate Croy and Merton Densher, a journalist with whom she is in love. Kate wants to marry Densher but her wealthy aunt is looking for a more desirable husband for her penniless niece.

Millie Theale is a beautiful American heiress who has taken a palace in Venice because of ill health. Maud and Kate have been Miilie`s guests.

After Kate and Maude have gone, Susan Shepard, American companion of Millie Theale, encourages the visits of Densher because they have made Millie so happy.

But unknow to Millie, who is unaware of the affair between Kate and Densher, these two have laid a plane whereby Densher will marry Millie, who they do not think will live long, and thus acquire the wealth they need for their own future.

Millie receives a visit from Lord Mark. Lord Mark, who himself hoped to win Millie`s hand, out of spite tells her now of the true situation between Kate and Densher. Millie takes this bolt from the blue very calmly, but the effect on her is disastrous.

Millie had not kept her appointment for tea with Densher, but when she finally agrees to see him some days later, she appears radiant in a white evening dress (she had always worn black before). Her attitude to him is one of understanding and friendship. Millie dies shortly after. Some weeks later Kate and Merton are again in the Palazzo, both conscience stricken by all that has happened, the more so when they know that Millie, in her ill, has left her fortune to Densher. 

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