THE PRINCESS OF CLEVES by Madame de Lafayette


Email this review


An excellent new translation by Nancy Mitford (Love in a Cold Climate) of a 17th century French classic- a roman a clef that is considered a turning point in the history of the novel. This story of the violent passion of a woman, previously encumbered by a marriage de raison and her fatal confession to her husband, critically examines the surface serenity and subsurface intrigue of court life at the Louvre- the feverish moves and countermoves of various court cabals- a sort of agitation without disorder. The author's eye for detail footnotes amusingly the court beauty who would speak only the words which suited the shape of her lovely mouth, the contrasting, conniving coteries surrounding the queen, the king's mistress and the dauphine- later Mary of Scotland... Nancy Mitford, a delicately devastating observer of the aristocracy herself, is an ideal selection as the new translator.

ISBN: 8132004809
Publisher: New Directions