Guy de Maupassant: Une vie [A Life] (2065 words)

Peter Cogman (University of Southampton)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Share on Facebook Tweet Report an Error

Henry James noted that Maupassant's first novel “has nothing that corresponds to the usual idea of a plot”: Une Vie simply follows the life of Jeanne Le Perthuis des Vauds, a young woman of the provincial aristocracy, from the moment when she leaves the convent in 1819 until the menopause and her becoming a grandmother in the late 1840s. Maupassant conceived the novel in December 1877; encouraged by Flaubert, he worked on it throughout 1878, then abandoned it, in part because of the pressures of his work as a civil servant, in part because his first draft of the opening chapters was encumbered by a multiplicity of characters (in it Jeanne has a brother, two aunts, and two cousins) and incidents. He only returned to complete …

Cogman, Peter. "Une vie". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 January 2004
[, accessed 20 July 2018.]

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here.