The Princess of Clèves
The Princess of Clèves, often called the first modern French novel, was
published anonymously in 1678 and was received with enthusiasm by its
The text of this Norton Critical Edition is that of Thomas Sargent
Perry's 1892 translation, indisputably the translation that has best
served readers in English. Reprinted repeatedly over the last one
hundred years, the Perry translation is a classic in its own right.
After careful review, the editor has corrected minor infelicities of
translation (necessary to remain true to Lafayette's text) and updated
To experience the innovation of Lafayette's writing, it is necessary to
understand the critical resistance it met with in seventeenth-century
"Contemporary Reactions" includes five assessments of The Princess of
Clèves—by Marie-Madeleine de Lafayette herself, Roger de Bussy-Rabutin
and Marie de Sévigné, Jean-Baptiste-Henry du Trousset de Valincour,
Jean-Antoine de Charnes, and Du Plaisir—following its controversial
publication. John Lyons's translations for this Norton Critical Edition
make these reactions available in English for the first time.
"Criticism" includes eleven modern studies of the novel, five of which
appear here in English for the first time, by Jean Fabre, Michel Butor,
Jean Rousset, Helen Karen Kaps, Gérard Genette, Roger Francillon, Kurt
Weinberg, Peggy Kamuf, Erica Harth, Joan DeJean, and Laurence Gregario.
A Glossary of Characters and a Selected Bibliography are also included.
- November 1993
- 5.1 × 8.4 in
/ 320 pages
- Territory Rights: Worldwide