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Volume Editor's Introduction

Volume Editor's Introduction

(p.1) Volume Editor's Introduction
The Story of Sapho
University of Chicago Press

This introductory chapter discusses the life and works of Madeleine de Scudéry. Ridiculed for her plainness, derided for her Saturday salon, scorned for her infamous map of love, belittled for her relationship with a younger man, sneered at for her lengthy romance novels, and mocked for her ideas about love, marriage, and the education of women, Scudéry has suffered at the hands of the literary establishment of her own time and of ours. Yet her novels were bestsellers in her day and well into the eighteenth century. No modern edition of her romance novels exists in French, nor have they been translated into English since the seventeenth century, despite a recent revival of interest in her work among feminist critics and literary historians. Scudéry's work deserves not only critical reconsideration, but to be made available in translation to the English reader.

Keywords:   Madeleine de Scudéry, map of love, female education, literary establishment, romance novels

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