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A Woman's Life

Guy de Maupassant

Book Overview: 

Having spent her girlhood at a convent getting a good education, Jeanne has just returned home and is a happy young woman full of hope and excitement, and eager to experience life and love!
But is she ready?
The facts of life were not a part of the convent’s curriculum and dear Mother and Father are unable to broach sensitive topics, so Jeanne must learn life’s lessons the hard way. From the shock and dismay of the wedding night, to childbirth, to infidelity, to religion, there is a lot of learning to be done.

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Community Reviews

Jeanne grew up in a sheltered life, being the heiress to a fortune and having gone to school at a convent. After finishing school she meets Viscount de Lamare who woos her, weds her and takes her off to Corsica for a spectacular honeymoon. Upon returning from France Jeanne finds her new husband is n

Note on the Translation
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Guy de Maupassant

--A Life

Explanatory Notes

Upon completion of her convent education at the age of seventeen, Jeanne is taken home by her father to start her adult life. Jeanne, wearing metaphorical rose tinted spectacles, is dreaming of a future of romance, a happy marriage and two children - a boy followed not long after by a girl. Jeanne's

Life doesn't always turn out as one would hope.
Wonderful prose , beautifully translated and there was a happy ending after all!
My first foray into Maupassant and won't be my last.
Loved it.

Une Vie, c'est l'histoire de Jeanne, jeune femme fraichement sortie du couvent, sur le point d'emménager avec ses parents dans le domaine qui lui reviendra. Elle y rencontre bientôt le vicomte Julien de Lamare, qu'elle épouse. C'est le compte-rendu scrupuleux d'une faillite.


I love Maupassant and always find he tackles the timeless difficult issues of life, that resonate down through the ages, with masterly and devastating acuity. The ‘life’ we examine is that of Jeanne, a naive young country girl, born into a life of privilege and convent educated, but destined to misf

C'est la première fois depuis le lycée que je relis un Maupassant. Et je vois qu'il n'a rien perdu de séduisant, d'attachant. Le sous-titre du roman est »Humble vérité«. J'ajouterais qu'on pourrait aussi l'intituler »De l'art de se gâcher la vie«. Mais l'héroïne ne peut agir autrement, elle est Pris

One of those absolutely beautiful books that leave me almost at a loss for words.

So well-written, in beautifully flowing French, and such a hard topic: a woman's lack of choice in 19th century conventional society. A Madame Bovary without the energetic, yet fatalistic drive to change her condition,

Compared to Bel-Ami, this was a slower-paced read, but the writing is nonetheless beautiful. I was captivated by Maupassant's sensitivities in his descriptive skills in general.

It is a carefully crafted story of an aristocratic lady with a sheltered bring-up who has lived through shattered dreams a

In France of the Modern Age the young Jeanne who had been living in a convent since she was a child finally returns home to Alamos, full of dreams of love. So still dreaming of living a romance and getting married, finally being happy forever with her eternal love, she meets a young gentleman named

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