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Lecture de Molière par Jean-François de Troy (Photo credit: Utpictura)

My computer crashed, so I had to put it together again from scratch. It was a matter of passwords. Microsoft’s employees would not help me retrieve my password.

We are returning to Molière, but not immediately. First, we will read one more post on Confederation. It is almost ready to publish. We will read two short plays by Molière, his La Critique de l’École des femmes (1st June 1663), and L’Impromptu de Versailles (the Fall of 1663). These are often considered Molière’s “theoretical” plays, but they are performed and constitute essential reading. After reading these two plays, we will have read all plays written by Molière, but some are not presented with an English translation.

Our discussion of these two one-act plays will be followed by a reading of Madame de La Fayette‘s Princesse de Clèves (1678). You may remember that Molière depicts the harms of jealousy. Our best example is Dom Garcie de Navarre, but Amphitryon is the model most remember. In La Princesse de Clèves, jealousy precludes reciprocated love. The French wars of religion are its backdrop. Henri II is the King of France. He is married to Catherine de’ Medici, but loves his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. One of Catherine and Henri II’s sons was Henri III. He died in 1589, which is when Henri III de Navarre became Henri IV of France (La Henriade). As King of Navarre, he had been a Huguenot. He converted to Catholicism and proclaimed the Edict of Nantes (1598).

For the last few months, I have been updating my page listing Fables by La Fontaine. France has a new “site officiel” dedicated to La Fontaine, which means that links no longer take a reader to the fable under discussion.

© Micheline Walker 
20 August 2020