Three Women

  • Author: Isabelle de Charrière
  • Translator: Emma Rooksby
  • Pages: xli & 176 pp.
  • Published: 2007
  • ISBN: 9780873529419 (Paperback)
Three Women Cover
Paperback ($9.95)
“Isabelle de Charrière is rightly prominent in the series and Trois femmes is an important work from the Revolutionary decade which will stimulate much debate in the classroom.”Modern Language Review
“Well written; Rooksby ably explores the complex issues underlying the story of these Trois Femmes.”French Review

In the aftermath of the French Revolution, three women who have fled France—the straitlaced aristocrat Emilie, her lighthearted maid Joséphine, and the worldly Constance—try to make new lives for themselves in Altendorf, Germany. Their experiences, difficulties, and choices address the philosophical question, Are moral theories adequate guides to good conduct?

In her introduction to this late-eighteenth-century novel by Charrière, Emma Rooksby discusses the sentimental tradition, Enlightenment ideas, epistolary fiction, Charrière’s career, and the difficult situation of women and women writers in postrevolutionary France.

Isabelle de Charrière, born in 1740 to a Dutch aristocratic family, wrote several novels critical of rigid social conventions. She lived most of her life in Switzerland.