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The Female Protagonist in the «Nouvelles» of Madame de Villedieu

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Nancy D. Klein

This book offers a major assessment of representative seventeenth-century nouvelles in France. The study shows how Mme de Villedieu (Marie-Catherine Desjardins), a popular and prolific writer at the time of Louis XIV, modified the genre creating a new form, the nouvelle galante. Dr. Klein traces changing concepts of form and at the same time changing modes of representing the female protagonists. One finds in Villedieu's narratives the emergence of a new image of the heroine who presents a new language and esthetic of love. Thoroughly researched, this well written book shows that Mme de Villedieu's influence as a writer was indeed far-reaching and long-lasting.
Contents: This book examines Mme de Villedieu's nouvelles galantes from a historical perspective by studying seventeenth-century female protagonists in other well-known short French narratives.