Sexual Fables

This article accompanies the fable
The Woman in the Bower

The Princess of Clèves

Below are La Princesse de Clèves (1678) original book cover and the poster for the film version of 1961. The novel was published anonymously but its author is now acknowledged to be Madame de La Fayette, who lived most of (married) life in Paris, where she participated in the salons. The novel is still widely taught in French schools and President Sarkozy in 2009 railed against it, saying he'd "suffered a lot from it" when he was forced to read it at school. The comment generated an immediate spike in sales. Not bad for an old 17th century tale.

The film was directed by Jean Delannoy from a screenplay by Jean Cocteau. Cocteau's lover and favorite actor Jean Marais plays the husband.

    Princess-de-Clèves         Princess-of-Cleves-film

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