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Sophie's Misfortunes by Comtesse de Ségur

Sophie's Misfortunes (1859)

by Comtesse de Ségur

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Fleurville (1)

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English (2)  French (2)  All languages (4)
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mon livre d'enfance un grand classique que j'adore ( )
  Leila.Khouane | Dec 30, 2014 |
My edition of this rather delightful book is dated 1892 and was once owned by an Aileen Frank at Miss Burke's School. Given to me by a friend back in 1971 or 1972, and carried from house to house until its more-than-a-century-old binding is in tatters, I finally got around to reading Les Malheurs de Sophie.

Les Malheurs de Sophie is a 19th century French children's book, not a novel but rather a series of episodes intended to instruct. These are moral lessons, though much more amusing and less didactically dull than most. Sophie is a privileged girl and oh so naughty. She repeatedly disobeys her mother Mme de Rean. (As Sophie says, "It's so boring to obey!") After each of her many mishaps, she is contrite and promises to never again cause an accident or unfortunate event by indulging in one of "her ideas." Paul is Sophie's cousin, best friend, and often reluctant collaborator. He is as obedient and "good" as Sophie is disobedient and "bad." He often tries to save her from her own folly and, thus, spare her the scolding and punishment that is certain to be her due. Many of Sophie's misdeeds involve unwitting cruelty to animals, particularly a pet turtle and a much-prized donkey. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that Sophie is only 4 years old and Paul 6 since they enjoy a freedom of movement and range of activity(even though closely minded by maids and mothers)that would be foreign to most contemporary American four-year-olds. ( )
1 vote Paulagraph | May 25, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Comtesse de Ségurprimary authorall editionscalculated
Franc-Nohain, Marie-MadeleineIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, Ada Van StoneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
P.P.S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pecoud, de AndréIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prand, EugèneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skinner, EdgarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skinner, HonorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smee, StephanieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sturge, SimonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Welsh, CharlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A ma petite-fille Elisabeth Fresneau
First words
"Ma bonne, ma bonne," dit un jour Sophie en accourant dans sa chambre, "venez vite ouvrir une caisse que papa m'a envoyée de Paris; je crois que c'est une poupée de cire, car il m'en a promis une."
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Wikipedia in English


Book description
Les Malheurs de Sophie ("Sophie's Misfortunes") is one of the most famous and beloved books in French children's literature. It describes the everyday life of the amusing and cheerful Sophie, a 4-year-old girl living in a chateau in the French countryside. The novel also has served to train generations of young girls in French translation.

Sophie is a naughty little girl, she delights in disobeying her mother and engaging in mischievous pranks. Sophie unintentionally melts her favourite wax doll and gets into trouble when she stands outside in the rain to make her hair curl. Why can't she be well behaved like her cousin Paul and her two delightfully sensible friends Camille and Madeleine.

Originally published in French in Les Malheurs de Sophie, this work has been translated into English as Sophie's Troubles, Sophie, The Misfortunes of Sophy, and Sophie's Misfortunes.

The 1889 English translation, Sophie's Troubles, is available online at The Hathi Trust:

It is also available at The Internet Archive:

The 1901 translation, Sophie, is available online at The Hathi Trust:
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Follow the adventures of Sophie, a naughty little girl who delights in disobeying her mother and engaging in mischievious pranks which often gets her into all kinds of trouble. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.

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