The French Lieutenant's Woman Summary Ñ 0

review The French Lieutenant's Woman

The French Lieutenant's Woman Summary Ñ 0 ñ The scene is the village of Lyme Regis on Dorset's Lyme Baythe largest bite from the underside of England's out stretched southwestern leg The major characters in the love intrigue triangle are Charles Smithson 32 a gentleman of independent means vaguely scientific bent; his fiancée Ernestina Fr; his fiancée Ernestina Freeman a pretty heiress daughter of a wealthy pompous dry goods merchant; Sarah Woodruff mysterious fascinatingdeserted after a brief affair with a French naval officer a short time before the story begins Obsessed with an irresistible fascinat. Like times like manners And the times were puritanicalThe copulatory theme was repeated in various folio prints in gilt frames that hung between the curtained windows Already a loose haired girl in Camargo petticoats was serving the waiting gentlemen with Roederer’s champagne In the background a much rouged but seemingly dressed lady of some fifty years of age cast a uiet eye over her clienteleJohn Fowles recreates the atmosphere of the Victorian era with an enviable thoroughness and he never fails to be rich in intriguing details So The French Lieutenant's Woman rightfully remains one of the great milestones in literatureBut there is also a kind of the warning against gullibilityWe can sometimes recognize the looks of a century ago on a modern face; but never those of a century to come On comparing the past with the present one inevitably corrupts the past with one's modern attitude

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The scene is the village of Lyme Regis on Dorset's Lyme Baythe largest bite from the underside of England's out stretched southwestern leg The major characters in the love intrigue triangle are Charles Smithson 32 a gentleman of independent means vaguely scientific bent. I think the greatest strength of this book is the utter uniueness of it I don't think I've ever read a book like it It is set in the Victorian year of 1867 and yet the sensibility of the book is thoroughly grounded in the 1960s when it was written The language metaphors and focus of the book all come from the 1960s and the actions of the characters are all given the lens of the highly visible author who is in fact one of the major characters of the book much in the style of Thackeray though personally done here I thinkThe plot itself starts off as a flimsy Victorian melodrama if one were to remove everything but the bare skeletons of the action from it boy meets girl boy is engaged to girl boy meets mysterious amazing girl boy suffers crisis of love moral dilemmas abound and then it develops into something else much modern with modern situations and dilemmas But it is how it is described that is the best p art of the book the focus is on the philosophies the problems the context of the era Fowles is deeply involved in trying to explain the actions of his characters with pages long meditations and research into the Victorian pysche based on thinkers papers popular opinions and events of the era For example the main character Charles is an amateur scientist and is a very strong Darwinist Fowles gets involved with class issues capitalist society poetry the suffrage movement feminism and of course the overarching focus of the book sexuality and its repression and unrepressionIt is here that comes my only real criticism of the book that at times the book is very dated to the 1960s in its utter obsession with sex and bohemia and fuck the system kind of rhetoric Which still rings with many today so perhaps it isn't a problem for all I just found it sort of threw me out of the magic of the story when he tried to make his characters 1960s type heroesAnother large and fascinating part of the book is that John Fowles allows us to see him at work He shows us the road not taken in statements like but much elouently put than this Well I could do this but that would betray the character but it is the formula where shall I go from here He lets the reader see behind the curtain and see his process lets them know that he recognizes what he is doing and what he could have done or should have done by convention He muses on what the character might want or what he might want and the various conventions that an author has at his disposal to most effectively display what he wants to convey I did not think that it threw me out of the book at all It made it even interesting actually I'd recommend this book for even people who don't usually like Victorian literature It has so modern a voice and discusses so many issues that we find of relevance today that perhaps your eyerolling can be kept to a minimum

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The French Lieutenant's WomanIon for the enigmatic Sarah Charles is hurtled by a moment of consummated lust to the brink of the existential void Duty dictates that his engagement to Tina must be broken as he goes forth once again to seek the woman who has captured his Victorian soul gentleman's hea. If you like Thomas Hardy this is a must read Set in southern England around 1868 Fowles 1926 2005 evokes the Victorian times and morals in a splendid way In the first place it is a love story but with a bonus every now and then Fowles reminds the reader that this story is not uite his invention His characters he claims have a mind of there own and he's as eager as we to see what happens Now all this is beautifully written and done but at the end Fowles presents 3 different endings and with this I have a problem the way he describes the second and the third one is done in such a provocative way that I have difficulty to follow and believe it Also the character of Sarah and the motives for her deeds remain a mystery; I think Fowles ment her to be a precursor of radical feminism a woman that wants to change her destiny like Charles does In other words the author introduces twentieth century motives into a nineteenth century plot and that's rather awkward But of course this way Fowles proves authors really are gods and literature is not dead at all like the structuralists of the sixties stated And that really is a relief