Blurb from 1996 Penguin: For eight years Bertrande de Rols mourns the disappearance of her young husband ... When he suddenly returns, Betrande is overwhelmed by a renewed bliss, but as the months pass she becomes possessed by the terrible fear that the man she has welcomed is not Martin Guerre. Impelled by an oppressive sense of sin and intense hatred for her betrayer, Bertrande is driven to accomplish her own tragic downfall. The Wife of Martin Guerre is a strange and haunting love story, in which Janet Lewis re-creates with immediacy and rich detail this famous incident which took place in sixteenth-century France.
This compelling story of Bertrande de Rols is a rich novella with the timeless power of a fable. It was based on a famous story of a court case in mid-16th century France. Janet Lewis depicts a distant time and a traditional, rural culture based on a highly ordered patriarchal structure. When "Martin Guerre" returns from a quest after eight years, the family embraces him, and Bertrande is swept up in the relief at the apparent return to the security of the old order. But Martin has changed, and Bertrande threatens the established order with her defiant quest for the truth. Once the accusation of false identity is laid formally and the trial process begins. Many witnesses are called. Bertrande is pressured to withdraw, and she herself is reluctant to see "Martin" executed. Finally, the real, battle-weary Martin stumbles into the courtroom and is instantly recognized. He shows no mercy to Bertrande for allowing herself to be deceived. The real facts emerge, but the fate of Bertrande and Martin remains open-ended.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:02 -0400)
Set in 16th century France, this is the story of Bertrande de Rols, a young French woman. After an early marriage her husband disappears. Eight years later, a bearded stranger comes to the village and claims to be her husband, Martin Guerre.