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The French Lieutenant's Woman
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The French Lieutenant's Woman

3.8 19
by John Fowles
 

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Perhaps the most beloved of John Fowles's internationally bestselling works, The French Lieutenant's Woman is a feat of seductive storytelling that effectively invents anew the Victorian novel. "Filled with enchanting mysteries and magically erotic possibilities" (New York Times), the novel inspired the hugely successful 1981 film starring Meryl

Overview

Perhaps the most beloved of John Fowles's internationally bestselling works, The French Lieutenant's Woman is a feat of seductive storytelling that effectively invents anew the Victorian novel. "Filled with enchanting mysteries and magically erotic possibilities" (New York Times), the novel inspired the hugely successful 1981 film starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons and is today universally regarded as a modern classic.

Editorial Reviews

Gale Research
By giving characters their freedom, Fowles also liberates himself from the tyranny of the rigid plan; but there remains a more basic limitation of fiction, and from this Fowles frees himself by means of his double ending: "The novelist is still a god," Fowles says in The French Lieutenant's Woman, "since he creates (and not even the most aleatory avant-garde modern novel has managed to extirpate its author completely); what has changed is that we are no longer the gods of the Victorian image, omniscient and decreeing; but in the new theological image, with freedom our first principle, not authority." Thus, although the novel seems in many ways a Victorian novel, the author reminds the reader that it is not; it is actually a novel of our time, with "this self-consciousness about the processes of art [that] is a hallmark of much twentieth-century fiction.
Edward T. Chase
A miracle of sorts….an absorbingly dramatic love story…and a virtuoso stylistic performance.
New Republic
Joyce Carol Oates
Dazzling…audacious…highly rewarding….A remarkable, original work in which at least two visions operate simultaneously, the one Victorian and melodramatic, the other modern and wise. An outlandish achievement!
Washington Post Book World
Webster Schott
A wonder of contemporary fiction….It meets the simplest, oldest, and least fashionable test of excellence. You never want it to end.
Life

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316291163
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
09/01/1998
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
81,928
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

They stopped. He stared at the black figure, "But I'm intrigued. Who is this French lieutenant?"

"A man she is said to have . . ."

"Fallen in love b&nwith?"

"Worse than that."

"And he abandoned her? There is a child?"

"No. I think no child. It is all gossip."

"But what is she doing there?"

"They say she waits for him to return."
—from The French Lieutenant's Woman

Meet the Author

John Fowles (1926-2005) was educated at Oxford and subsequently lectured in English at universities in Greece and the UK. The success of his first novel, The Collector, published in 1963, allowed him to devote all his time to writing. His books include the internationally acclaimed and bestselling novels The Magus, The French Lieutenant's Woman, and Daniel Martin. Fowles spent the last decades of his life on the southern coast of England in the small harbor town of Lyme Regis.

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The French Lieutenant's Woman 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Fowles 'The French Lieutenants Woman' was the first book I've read in a long time that did not seem trite and false. Humanity exudes from every character explored and the greater ideas of love, freedom, and identity make this book a must-read. I have always been slightly enamoured of 19th-century Britain and this novel explores many of the contradictions of that era. A beautiful love story for the Romantic and an amazing thought-provoker for the Thinker.
sand7s More than 1 year ago
Very good book. I loved the characters. The cover. finished it very quickly
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book delivers just about everything a book can: complex ideas, a compelling and surprising plot, beautiful language, subtle eroticism and passion, and historical context. Absolutely fantastic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John Fowles is a good writer and, as such, it's a pleasure to read his writings. However, while I thought his use of language in The French Lieutenant's Woman was much better than that of most authors, the plot was another story. Too much ruminating on the state of mind of the characters left me bored and led me to speed read through many passages. All in all, this book is an average product of a gifted writer. I grade it a B-.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JAC2848 - did not like nook sample
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thetark More than 1 year ago
It is a little slow at the start, but this is a very good novel... great characters, a very engaging voice, and it is very provocative.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I'm aware that sometimes a Victorian novel its a bit difficult to read i must confess i had a difficult time with this book. I forced myself to stick with it for the first 100 pages then finally gave up. It was just too boring. The language was difficult, and the author just babled on and that was not good. I ended up googling the cliff notes. Even those were boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It seemed to me that the wording was at a diferent level than the english that I am comfortable with. After struggling with the first 45 or so pages I just gave the book up.