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The Story Of The Duchess Of Cicogne And Of Monsieur De Boulingrin 1920   By: (1844-1924)

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Anatole France's "The Story Of The Duchess Of Cicogne And Of Monsieur De Boulingrin 1920" is a remarkable piece of literature that delves deep into the complexities of love, power, and societal constructs. Set in 18th-century France, this novel takes readers on a captivating journey filled with intrigue, wit, and an astute exploration of human nature.

The narrative centers around the lives of the Duchess of Cicogne and Monsieur de Boulingrin, two characters who seem to exist on opposite ends of society's spectrum. The Duchess, renowned for her beauty and aristocratic status, lives a life of privilege, while Monsieur de Boulingrin, a humble clerk, leads a modest and unassuming existence. Their paths unexpectedly cross, setting the stage for a profound and transformative tale.

France skillfully weaves together a multitude of themes throughout the book, capturing the essence of the time period with remarkable detail and nuance. He not only delves into the power dynamics within different social classes but also explores the limitations placed on individuals by their societal roles and expectations. In doing so, the author raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of identity and the impact it can have on one's personal fulfillment.

One of the novel's greatest strengths lies in France's ability to create vivid and multi-dimensional characters. The Duchess of Cicogne, for example, initially appears as the epitome of nobility, but as the story progresses, her vulnerabilities and insecurities begin to surface. Monsieur de Boulingrin, on the other hand, serves as a refreshing counterpoint to the opulence and extravagance of the aristocracy, bringing a sense of humility and authenticity to the narrative.

France's masterful prose style is evident throughout the book, seamlessly transporting readers to the lavish ballrooms of Parisian society and the humble dwellings of the working class. His elegant descriptions and poetic language add depth to the narrative, creating a captivating atmosphere that further immerses readers in the story.

"The Story Of The Duchess Of Cicogne And Of Monsieur De Boulingrin 1920" is a delightful read that offers a poignant commentary on the complexities of human relationships and the often arbitrary nature of societal expectations. France's insightful observations and his ability to craft intricate characters make this novel a timeless piece of literature. Whether you are a fan of historical fiction, romance, or simply appreciate excellent storytelling, this book is a must-read.

First Page:


From "The Seven Wives Of Bluebeard & Other Marvellous Tales"

By Anatole France

Translated by D. B. Stewart

Edited By James Lewis May And Bernard Miall

John Lane Company MCMXX


THE story of the Sleeping Beauty is well known; we have excellent accounts of it, both in prose and in verse. I shall not undertake to relate it again; but, having become acquainted with several memoirs of the time which have remained unpublished, I discovered some anecdotes relating to King Cloche and Queen Satine, whose daughter it was that slept a hundred years, and also to several members of the Court who shared the Princess's sleep. I propose to communicate to the public such portions of these revelations as have seemed to me most interesting.

After several years of marriage, Queen Satine gave the King, her husband, a daughter who received the names of Paule Marie Aurore. The baptismal festivities were planned by the Duc des Hoisons, grand master of the ceremonies, in accordance with a formulary dating from the Emperor Honorius, which was so mildewed and so nibbled by rats that it was impossible to decipher any of it.

There were still fairies in those days, and those who had titles used to go to Court. Seven of them were invited to be god mothers, Queen Titania, Queen Mab, the wise Vivien, trained by Merlin in the arts of enchantment, Melusina, whose history was written by Jean d'Arras, and who became a serpent every Saturday (but the baptism was on a Sunday), Urgèle, White Anna of Brittany, and Mourgue who led Ogier the Dane into the country of Avalon... Continue reading book >>

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