nancylebov: (green leaves)
[personal profile] nancylebov
I'm wondering about major fiction (major either by respect or popularity) written in English that's set in France? Offhand, the only thing I can think of is A Tale of Two Cities.

The Black Opera is by Mary Gentle, and I'm liking it pretty well, and if you like plots with heightened emotion and sudden revelations, not to mention opera and fear of volcanoes, you might like it, too. Among other things, it's an alternate history where Napoleon didn't lose at Waterloo, which got me to thinking about France and English language literature.

Date: 2014-05-08 08:43 pm (UTC)
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
From: [personal profile] oursin
One of the sisters in Arnold Bennett's The Old Wives' Tale runs off with a commercial traveller and ends up in Paris. As I recall, she keeps a lodging house rather than becoming a fallen woman, and endures the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.

By about the 1920s, there's an increasing number of novels (including detective stories) about Brits holidaying or even living on a longer term basis in France, probably mostly in the South of France, but I haven't counted or anything - EM Delafield's Gay Life (the title is deliberately ironic) is set in a Riviera resort. In The Well of Loneliness Stephen and Mary go and live in Paris after the War, and mix with a boho sapphic set based on the Natalie Barney circle. It's years since I read Of Human Bondage but doesn't the protag study art in Paris? as does Margery Sharp's Martha in Martha in Paris. Nancy Mitford is all over Paris - after going to Perpignan to help Basque refugees returning through Paris Linda meets Fabrice in The Pursuit of Love, in Don't Tell Alfred Fanny's husband is appointed ambassador to Paris, and The Blessing is about the problems of an Anglo-French marriage following a lengthy separation due to WWII. Rebecca West's 1936 novel The Thinking Reed is about an American woman who marries a Frenchman.

Date: 2014-05-09 03:39 am (UTC)
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
From: [personal profile] twistedchick
How about Villette, by Charlotte Bronte?

Date: 2014-05-09 07:47 am (UTC)
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
From: [personal profile] oursin
Technically Basseterre is Belgium, not France, and Villette = Brussels.

Date: 2014-05-09 05:01 pm (UTC)
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
From: [personal profile] twistedchick
Thanks -- wasn't aware of that. I just remember reading it when I wasn't very good at French, and all the French names.

Date: 2014-05-09 04:48 am (UTC)
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
From: [personal profile] mishalak
Would you count The Scarlet Pimpernel as popular? Also how much of the novel? Some of the Patrick O'Brian novels are set in France.

From looking at goodreads:
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Death in the Clouds (Hercule Poirot, #12) by Agatha Christie
The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw
Sharpe's Regiment by Bernard Cornwell
Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
The American by Henry James

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