Approaches to Teaching Lafayette’s The Princess of Clèves

  • Editors: Faith E. Beasley, Katharine Ann Jensen
  • Pages: xi & 211 pp.
  • Published: 1998
  • ISBN: 9780873527453 (Cloth)
  • ISBN: 9780873527460 (Paperback)
Approaches to Teaching Lafayette's The Princess of Clves Cover

Frequently identified in French literary histories as the first modern novel—that is, the first to focus on its characters’ thoughts and feelings instead of their heroic actions—Lafayette’s La Princesse de Clèves has provoked discussion and strong opinions since it was published in 1678. Today instructors use this increasingly popular novel not only in French literature courses but also in comparative literature courses, women’s studies courses, and theme-oriented courses; but its unfamiliar historical setting can be daunting to contemporary classes. In the words of the editors, this collection aims to “give colleagues . . . a sense of seventeenth-century France and show how the novel is a product of this milieu, for these are the keys to making the novel comprehensible and indeed enjoyable to students.”