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The Princess of Clèves by Madame de La Fayette (Book Analysis)

Detailed Summary, Analysis and Reading Guide
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This engaging summary presents an analysis of
The Princess of Clèves by Madame de La Fayette, a psychological novel which examines the questions of duty, fidelity and passion in marriage. The Princess of Clèves is a young woman trapped in a loveless marriage, who falls in love with a dashing duke. However, her sense of duty prevents her from ever realising this passion, and the novel charts her struggle with herself to stay true to her husband.
The Princess of Clèves is widely regarded as one of the classics of French literature, as well as being one of the first modern psychological novels. Despite that, it was published anonymously, as Madame de La Fayette, being a woman and an aristocrat, did not want to be credited with the writing of a novel. However, La Fayette was greatly involved in the world of literature, frequenting the literary salons of the time and acquainted with the works of many great writers. She died in 1693.

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This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:

• A complete plot summary

• Character studies

• Key themes and symbols

• Questions for further reflection

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