Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Fowles, John "The French Lieutenant’s Woman"

Fowles, John "The French Lieutenant’s Woman" - 1969

A lovely story. A love story in the Victorian era between a man and a married woman. Quite a lot to talk about.

And talking it is. The author. Never have I been that much annoyed by an author in a story. Shall I describe it this way? Or maybe better that way? Or maybe I won't bore you with this, you are far too clever for this ... You know the type. John Fowles tries hard to write a book in the style of Austen, Brontë, even Dickens. Does he achieve it? He might have if we wouldn't have had to read his own voice that much.

I still liked the book. But, this is one of the rare occasions where I liked the movie better, maybe because of its great actors, Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, or probably because the story is the main attraction in the film and not the author's ego.

From the back cover: "In this contemporary, Victorian-style novel Charles Smithson, a nineteenth-century gentleman with glimmerings of twentieth-century perceptions, falls in love with enigmatic Sarah Woodruff, who has been jilted by a French lover.
Of all John Fowles' novels The French Lieutenant's Woman received the most universal acclaim and today holds a very special place in the canon of post-war English literature. From the god-like stance of the nineteenth-century novelist that he both assumes and gently mocks, to the last detail of dress, idiom and manners, his book is an immaculate recreation of Victorian England.
Not only is it the epic love story of two people of insight and imagination seeking escape from the cant and tyranny of their age, 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' is also a brilliantly sustained allegory of the decline of the twentieth-century passion for freedom."


  1. I liked the book ok, but I much preferred The Magus by him.

    1. I never read another book by him and I'm not sure whether I wanted to read another one but if you recommend it. Thank you.