The French Lieutenant's Woman

Overview

This international best seller, now an award-winning film, is an intricate portrait of Victorian relationships and love. In the story, Charles Smithson is engaged to a wealthy woman, but breaks off the engagement over his secret affair with the beautiful, mysterious Sarah Woodruff, a woman known locally as the forsaken lover of a French lieutenant. The novel offers 3 different endings to encourage you to reach your own conclusions.

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The French Lieutenant's Woman

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Overview

This international best seller, now an award-winning film, is an intricate portrait of Victorian relationships and love. In the story, Charles Smithson is engaged to a wealthy woman, but breaks off the engagement over his secret affair with the beautiful, mysterious Sarah Woodruff, a woman known locally as the forsaken lover of a French lieutenant. The novel offers 3 different endings to encourage you to reach your own conclusions.

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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781501215360
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 1/13/2015
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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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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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