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The Lost Child   By: (1842-1908)

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In François Coppée's "The Lost Child", readers are introduced to a heartrending tale that explores the inherent beauty and tragedy of life. Set in the bustling streets of Paris, this novella takes readers on a journey filled with hope, despair, and the indomitable spirit of a child.

The story revolves around a young boy who becomes separated from his family in the bustling streets of the city. Left to navigate the urban chaos on his own, the child embarks on a series of encounters that unravels the complex web of human emotions and experiences. Through his interactions with various inhabitants of Paris, the reader gains an intimate understanding of the layers of society and the poignant struggles faced by individuals from all walks of life.

Coppée's writing style, though simple, is incredibly evocative. He effortlessly captures the essence of Paris, painting vivid pictures with his words. The bustling streets, the laughter, the tears, and the distinct characters all come to life on the pages. The author's skillful portrayal of the city amplifies the sheer magnitude of the lost child's predicament and invokes an emotional connection within the reader.

Furthermore, "The Lost Child" delves deep into the contrast between the innocence and vulnerability of childhood and the harsh realities of adult life. Through the eyes of the child, readers witness the world with a renewed sense of wonder, as he discovers the beauty, but also the cruelty, that exists within society. The intricate portrayal of the child's emotions captivates readers and reminds us of the importance of preserving our own childlike perspective.

What sets this novella apart is its ability to transcend time. Despite being written in the late 19th century, the themes explored in "The Lost Child" remain utterly relevant to this day. Coppée's social commentary tackles pertinent issues such as inequality and compassion, reminding us of the shared humanity that exists among individuals, regardless of their circumstances. This contemporary relevance makes the story resonate deeply with readers, encouraging them to reflect on their own attitudes and actions towards those less fortunate.

While the novella showcases Coppée's undeniable talent for storytelling, some readers may find the simplicity of the narrative style to be a downside. The lack of major twists or surprises may leave some longing for a deeper level of suspense or intrigue. However, it is crucial to note that "The Lost Child" relies heavily on its relentless emotional intensity and its ability to depict authentic human experiences, rather than relying on conventional plot structures.

In conclusion, François Coppée's "The Lost Child" is a poignant exploration of humanity's simultaneous capacity for cruelty and compassion. Through the eyes of a lost child, readers are transported to the bustling streets of Paris, where they witness the profound impact of love, loss, and resilience. This heartwrenching novella serves as a reminder to take a moment in our own lives to treasure the beauty that can be found even within the most challenging of circumstances.

First Page:


By François Edouard Joachim Coppée

Translated by J. Matthewman

Copyright, 1894, by The Current Literature Publishing Company.

On that morning, which was the morning before Christmas, two important events happened simultaneously the sun rose, and so did M. Jean Baptiste Godefroy.

Unquestionably the sun, illuminating suddenly the whole of Paris with its morning rays, is an old friend regarded with affection by everybody, It is particularly welcome after a fortnight of misty atmosphere and gray skies, when the wind has cleared the air and allowed the sun's rays to reach the earth again. Besides all of which the sun is a person of importance. Formerly, he was regarded as a god, and was called Osiris, Apollyon, and I don't know what else. But do not imagine that because the sun is so important he is of greater influence than M. Jean Baptiste Godefroy, millionaire banker, director of the Comptoir Général de Crédit , administrator of several big companies, deputy and member of the General Counsel of the Eure, officer of the Legion of Honor, etc., etc. And whatever opinion the sun may have about himself, he certainly has not a higher opinion than M. Jean Baptiste Godefroy has of him self. So we are authorized to state, and we consider ourselves justified in stating, that on the morning in question, at about a quarter to eight, the sun and M... Continue reading book >>

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