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Contes Français   By: (1803-1870)

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Contes Français is a collection of captivating stories written by Prosper Mérimée. The author masterfully weaves a tapestry of French folklore, history, and culture, bringing to life a diverse array of characters and settings. Each tale is rich in detail and complexity, showcasing Mérimée's skill in creating compelling narratives.

One of the standout stories in this collection is "Carmen," a gripping tale of love, jealousy, and betrayal set in the sultry backdrop of Spain. Through vivid descriptions and intricate plot twists, Mérimée creates a story that is both timeless and haunting.

Another gem in this collection is "Colomba," a powerful story of vengeance and honor set in the rugged landscape of Corsica. The complex characters and intricate moral dilemmas explored in this tale make it a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant read.

Overall, Contes Français is a masterful collection of stories that offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich tapestry of French literature. Mérimée's exquisite storytelling and keen eye for detail make this book a must-read for anyone interested in French culture and literature.

First Page:


EDITED WITH NOTES AND VOCABULARY BY DOUGLAS LABAREE BUFFUM, PH. D. Professor of Romance Languages in Princeton University.


This edition of Contes Français follows the lines of my edition of French Short Stories , published in 1907. The stories have been chosen from representative authors of the nineteenth century with a view to: (1) literary worth, (2) varied style and subject matter, (3) large vocabulary, (4) interest for the student.

The vocabulary is large (between 6000 and 7000 words); it is hoped that it will be found to be complete, with the exception of merely personal names, having no English equivalent and of no signification beyond the story in which they occur. In a few instances words will be found in the text with special meanings; in these cases the vocabulary contains the usual signification as well as the special. Irregularities in pronunciation are indicated in the vocabulary.

A knowledge of the elementary principles of French grammar on the part of the student is presupposed. Consequently the notes contain few grammatical explanations. Repetition of rules that may be found in the ordinary grammars would be unnecessary, and the individual instructor will probably prefer to adapt this side of the work to the needs of each class, Or better still to the needs of each student... Continue reading book >>

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