Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse [Julie, or The New Heloise] (1283 words)

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Rousseau’s long letter-novel was an immediate and enduring best-seller in France and much of Europe. Its language of sensibility, its twin cult of passion and virtue, and its visionary power challenged and changed the fashions of its own time, and it would become a key work for several generations of Romantics.

Set principally by Lake Geneva, the story centres on a young tutor, Saint-Preux, and his female pupil who fall in love. But he is a commoner, and Julie’s noble father will not hear of a mésalliance. Forced to keep their passion a guilty secret, the couple succumb to it. To save her reputation, Julie’s cousin Claire sends the tutor away and his friend milord Edouard takes him to Paris. Julie’s father …

Howells, Robin. "Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 January 2005
[, accessed 26 October 2016.]

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  1. European Romanticism