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Three Weeks

Elinor Glyn

Book Overview: 

Paul Verdayne, wealthy English nobleman in his early twenties is caught embracing the parson's daughter. His parents decide to send him away to France and then Switzerland. In Switzerland, he sees a woman referred to only as "the Lady". The Lady is older, in her thirties. After several days of exchanging lustful glances, they actually meet. She invites him to her apartment where they share a sexual relationship for three weeks. Eventually, Paul learns that the Lady is actually the queen of a Russian dependency and that her husband, the king, is abusive towards her. She disappears after the titular three weeks and Paul is upset and returns to England. Paul later finds out that the Lady has given birth to their son. With his father's assistance, he finds out the Lady's identity; however, before they can meet again, she is murdered by her husband. Paul is upset and spends the next five years wandering around from country to country until he decides to make preparations to meet his son. (Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Paul?"

"I would never tease you!" he exclaimed tenderly. And, if he had dared, he would have taken her hand.

"You English are so wonderful! Full of your prejudices," she said in a contemplative way. "Bulldog tenacity of purpose, whether you are right or wrong. Things are a custom, and they must be done, or it is not 'playing the game,'" and she imitated a set English voice, her beautiful mouth pursed up, until Paul had to use violent restraint with himself to keep from kissing it. "A wonderful people—mostly gentlemen and generally honest, but of a common sense that is disastrous to sentiment or romance. If you were not so polished, and lazy and strong—and beautiful to look at, one would not consider you much beyond the German."

"Not consider us beyond a beastly German!" exclaimed Paul indignantly.

And the lady laughed like a child.

"Oh! you darling P. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Just read “Three Weeks” by Elinor Glyn, the author who invented the term IT that ineffable charisma that beguiles and seduces both men and women. Forget 50 shades of Grey! Written in 1907 when she was 43 Three Weeks is a romance about an aristocratic older woman who enslaves a young man - not wit...more

I always strain to remember which friend has recommended a given book, but there is no doubt as to which friend gave me this one... and I wish her to know that I am eternally grateful, albeit a choice I almost didn’t make. After all, it just didn’t seem my kind of book, but perhaps in choosing ou...more

This was a racy hit in 1907, and honestly, it’s pretty enjoyable today. A young spoiled Englishman goes to Switzerland and meets a mysterious older Russian woman who schools him in the ways of sexytimes. Contains one random use of the n-word to describe a souvenir—could have done without that.

Typical romance novel. Extremely good writing. The plot is a drag at some points, but Glyn manages to keep it from being boring. Definitely read if you are into this time period's writing.

A few samples:

"You see, Paul, love is a purely physical emotion," she continued. "We could.../>"You

Un romanzo che, al tempo, ha scandalizzato il pubblico americano per il suo spirito anticonvenzionale (amorale, secondo l'opinione comune): la donna che seduce il giovane protagonista e condivide con lui tre settimane di ardente passione, infatti, è sposata (se pure con un misterioso e brutale pr...more

I would like to thank several of you superbly eloquent reviewers for helping me appreciate this novel considerably more than I would have without your kind words; a the very least I can appreciate it as a small historical relic. I normally don't review terrible books, but this one was so abominab...more

Initially, this novel is of literary historical interest. The transformation of both primary characters is evenly and believably presented if we make allowances for the century-old presentation. While perhaps half of the sensuous imagery seems out-dated and camp by today's standards, the other ha...more

honestly, all I can say is 'wow'

I read Three Weeks by Elinor Glyn for the Out of the Past Classic Film Blog - 2016 Summer Reading Classic Film Book Challenge and I’m glad I did, as I’d been putting it off for awhile. It only took me a couple of days to finish and it thoroughly captivated me, even moving me to tears at the end.

Glyn...more

For the most part, this story was a rather fun fantastical romp in the sensuous and sensual Land of Make-Believe, but the plot took an unexpected tragic twist and no one was having fun any more. Three stars to Elinor Glyn for reminding the reader of the value of patience and anticipation and of m...more

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