Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A Woman's Life (Classics) by Guy de…

A Woman's Life (Classics) (original 1883; edition 1977)

by Guy de Maupassant, H.N.P. Sloman (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
906119,736 (3.77)1 / 37
Title:A Woman's Life (Classics)
Authors:Guy de Maupassant
Other authors:H.N.P. Sloman (Translator)
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (1977), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

A Woman's Life by Guy de Maupassant (1883)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (5)  French (3)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 5 of 5
Jeanne leads a very sheltered life, growing up with wealth and going to a convent school. She meets and marries Julien, a cruel and unscrupulous man who marries her for her money. After discovering Julien's unfaithfulness, as well as evidence of her parents' extra-marital affairs, Jeanne gradually falls into a deep depression.

I loved the writing of this story. The characters were rich and believable - although not likeable. I found it very interesting how Jeanne completely fell apart. Although I tried not to compare her to women in the present, she was helpless and overall not a good role model. I am curious if de Maupassant was making a commentary about women in general, or perhaps the upper classes. Very few strong characters and Jeanne and her family seemed kind, but very incompetent. Surprisingly easy to read. ( )
  jmoncton | Jun 3, 2013 |
*ETA some more thoughts on the book.
Despite the sadness of this book I liked it a lot. It is a tragic story of how a woman's life runs from childish hopes and dreams of eternal romantic love through disappointments in married life to being disappointed by her only child.
The main character, Jeanne, is very naive and inexperienced, coming from a convent where she received her education and where she spent her time thinking about what life would have in store for her. Romantic love, love, marriage, children, it all passed her thoughts and now she was 'set free', she felt more than ready to experience all she had until then only been thinking about.
When the years of her life pass by, she becomes more and more melancholic and depressed, finding only temporary joy in raising her son. That lasts as long as it comes as a shock to her that he's grown up and decides to go his own way.
The ending of the book gave me the idea of a closing circle, like all could start over again. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
riconoscerla e goderla
  Cristina_G | Feb 14, 2012 |
Why would anyone want to read a 19th century novel? And, why do good writers bring up the name Guy de Maupassant as an example of a great writer? This book answers both questions. Yes, a quick description of the story – a young, naïve girl marries wrong and tragedies ensue - sounds like fodder for soap operas or romance novels. But it is in the telling of the story and the handling of the characters that de Maupassant’s true writing talent comes through. Our heroine Jeanne could come off as a guileless wimp who we get sick of quickly. Yet, de Maupassant’s talents as a writer manage to bring her off as sympathetic, even though much of her plight is because of her blithe acceptance of what life dishes her. And, even with our jaundiced 21st century views, we can still sympathize with these characters and the burdens they faced because of the roles thrust upon them. ( )
3 vote figre | Apr 6, 2009 |
Typical Maupassant, pastoral, realistic and gripping even with somewhat foreign setting. Story of a failed marriage, of an unhappy life. Not much happens, but it is well said and evocative. The account of la nuit matrimoniale is beautifully rendered, and the emotions (fear, disgust) brought to life. ( )
1 vote thierry | Feb 25, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (96 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Guy de Maupassantprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Laurie, MarjorieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Picchi, MarioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prins-Willekes Macdonald, I.E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Jeanne, ayant fini ses malles, s'approcha de la fenêtre, mais la pluie ne cessait pas.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192832980, Paperback)

'every heart imagines itself the first to thrill to a myriad sensations which once stirred the hearts of the earliest creatures and which will again stir the hearts of the last men and women to walk the earth' What is a life? How shall a storyteller conceive a life? What if art means pattern and life has none? How, then, can any story be true to life? These are some of the questions which inform the first of Maupassant's six novels, A Life (Une Vie) (1883) in which he sought to parody and expose the folly of romantic illusion. An unflinching presentation of a woman's life of failure and disappointments, where fulfilment and happiness might have been expected, A Life recounts Jeanne de Lamare's gradual lapse into a state of disillusion. With its intricate network of parallels and oppositions, A Life reflects the influence of Flaubert in its attention to form and its coherent structure. It also expresses Maupassant's characteristic naturalistic vision in which the satire of bourgeois manners, the representation of the aristocracy in pathological decline, the undermining of human individuality and ideals, and the study of deterioration and disintegration, all play a role. But above all Maupassant brings to his first novel the short story writer's genius for a focused tension between stasis and change, and A Life is one of his most compelling portraits of dispossession and powerlessness.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:41 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The vampire owner of Manhattan's hottest dating service, Lil Marchette is given the unwelcome task of finding the perfect woman for Vinnie Balducci, the Brookyn representative for the Snipers of Otherworldly Beings, while dealing with the three gorgeous demon Prince brothers, who are hunting a rogue spirit who has taken up residence in Liz's oblivious assistant, Evie.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.77)
1 4
2 12
2.5 4
3 30
3.5 18
4 58
4.5 7
5 38

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,882,181 books! | Top bar: Always visible