The French Lieutenant's Woman

The French Lieutenant's Woman

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by John Fowles
     
 

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Perhaps the most beloved of 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

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Overview

Perhaps the most beloved of 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.

In A Maggot, originally published in 1985, Fowles reaches back to the eighteenth century to offer readers a glimpse into the future. Time magazine called the result "hypnotic....A remarkable achievement. Part detective story, part crackling courtroom drama....An immensely rich and readable novel".

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:
9780451080660
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
08/01/1970
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(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

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