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The Princesse de Cleves by Madame de La…

The Princesse de Cleves (1678)

by Madame de La Fayette

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,738446,080 (3.43)99
  1. 30
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (andejons)
    andejons: Similar premises: married, upper class women fall in love with men of less than perfect moral standing. The outcomes are very different though.
  2. 20
    Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford (agmlll)

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» See also 99 mentions

English (33)  French (7)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
My only criticism of my copy of this book is that it doesn't tell me whose translation it is. I'd been aware of Princess of Cleves for a long time but it wouldn't have occurred me to read it, but as I got it from SantaThing, I now had it and once I got into it, I enjoyed it very much. ( )
  mari_reads | Jul 21, 2018 |
Studied this in university back when I hadn't figured out I was asexual so had a tricky time explaining to my boyfriend that the reason I loved it so much was that the girl decided not to get with the guy (whom a friend and I had dubbed the Jerk de Nemours). Lol, good times.

Still remember all the literary discussion about the significance of watching/seeing, and all that guff; and still love it. The Jerk de Nemours strikes me even more now as a creepy stalker dudebro. Her husband also comes across as more controlling and sulky. Retiring to a Pyrenean convent remains the best possible solution. ( )
  zeborah | May 13, 2018 |
Court intrigue on being trapped by roles, societal and self-imposed, and how decisions get made vis-à-vis desire or conscience. ( )
  encephalical | Jan 15, 2018 |
Massively influential in French literature at least, this story of unrequited love is a eulogy to virtue whose message should be more widely known outside its native land.

Wikipedia will give you a decent plot summary and overview of its significance. For me, the novel was somewhat hard to access because of the original style it was written in. It was a case where knowing the plot and what would take place in advance actually helped me follow the events in the novel as they unfolded. Without that, I might have emerged none the wiser.

What’s very apparent though is the refusal of the eponymous Princess to compromise her morals. Not only does she refuse the advances of the Duke de Nemours by committing adultery while married, once her husband had died, she refused to be unfaithful to his memory. This despite not being able to love her husband as he loved her.

Yes, the Princess is to be admired for this. But only to a certain degree. After all, she marries a man that she knows she does not love without questioning whether this is in fact the right thing to do. Although the Prince does bag his prize in terms of a life with the woman he is besotted with, she never gives him her heart and we return to this misery more than once in the narrative. This not only makes the Prince unhappy, it also fuels his jealousy of the Duke.

I’m sure women had little choice about who they married in those days. I’m not sure to what extent women have the choice even now about who they love. From what I’ve read and experienced, a woman seems unable to choose to love and be devoted to a man. I may be wrong, and if you think so, please comment and let me know why the Princess does not choose to love and be devoted to the man she has married. For me, that’s as cruel as adultery ever has been. ( )
  arukiyomi | Apr 28, 2017 |
A good novel for trump. it's about how if your too much of a cuck u can literally die from it ( )
  Kuiperdolin | Oct 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (164 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Madame de La Fayetteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alexanderson, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cave, TerenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Vilmorin, LouisePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haan, Frans deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loy, RosettaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitford, NancyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ortiz, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prins-Willekes Macdonald, I.E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swarth, HélèneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swarth, HélèneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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At no time in France were splendour and refinement so brilliantly displayed as in the last years of the reign of Henri II.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Considered to be the first true French novel and a prototype of the early psychological novel.
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This groundbreaking novel made a splash when it was initially published in 1678, changing the course of literary fiction forever. Rather than following in the same vein as the one-dimensional romances that preceded it, The Princess of Cleves tackles its characters' inner dilemmas with unprecedented sophistication and nuance.… (more)

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