Prosper Mérimée, Colomba

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Prosper Mérimée’s story of Corsican vendetta,


, first published on 1 July 1840 in the

Revue des Deux Mondes

and republished in book form in June 1841 by Magen, was undoubtedly his most popular, best received work. Critics almost unanimously praised


, with Sainte-Beuve calling it Mérimée’s “most beautiful, most perfect” novel. His inspiration for the novel stemmed from an 1839 trip to Corsica, completed as part of his official duties as France’s General Inspector of Historical Monuments. During the trip he read historical accounts of vendettas, was told of them by his hosts, and even met a sixty-five year old woman named Colomba Bartoli, a woman obsessed with exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of her son.

The novel opens in Marseille (the

1758 words

Citation: Cropper, Corry. "Colomba". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 March 2007 [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

9394 Colomba 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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