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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Classic Novel of the Month- June: Paul & Virginia, by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre

Sorry for the late post.... but here is this month's Classic Novel of the Month. I hope you enjoy!

First published in 1788, this is the classic of naive love that inspired the film "The Blue Lagoon." Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre's only novel is a classic of naive love. First published in 1788 to wide acclaim, it subsequently appeared in hundreds of editions throughout the world and influenced a generation of French writers, from George Sand and Lamartine to Balzac and Flaubert. In modern times it has inspired major musicals, artworks, a hit song by Celine Dion, and even a chain of luxury hotels on Mauritius.

Bernardin was inspired by his friend Rousseau to tell the story of two children who grow up entirely according to nature's laws on an idyllic island free from the corrupting influence of the world. They reach adolescence and fall in love, but tragedy strikes and both die untimely deaths. A key text in the development of the novel, this is a must for anyone interested in the history of European literature.

*information taken from Wikipedia


Video Summary of Paul & Virginia:


My Review:

I give this classic novel a rating of 5/5 because the story really is one of those stories you read and stay with you long after you finish reading the book. At the beginning of the book, the descriptions of the island Paul & Virginia live in can be overwelming, but after awhile you begin to find yourself along with them. Smelling the fresh fruits, the flowers in bloom and find yourself wrapped in their story and their love...

I read somewhere on line that the famous painting The Storm, by Pierre-Augste Cot was inspired by this book. I have always loved this painting. During my many visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, I always make it a MUST to see this painting up close. Something about it have always camptivated me...perhaps the couple, their expressions, the storm they ran away from???
So when I read that the artist was inspired by this book, I knew this was a book I had to read! And I'm glad I did!

Here is a quote from the book that many believe inspired this painting:

"One day, while descending from the mountaintop, I saw Virginie running from one end of the garden toward the house, her head covered by her overskirt, which she had lifted from behind her in order to gain shelter from a rain-shower. From a distance I had thought she was alone; but upon coming closer to help her walk I saw that by the arm she held Paul who was almost entirely covered by the same blanket. Both were laughing together in the shelter of this umbrella of their own invention."

Get a FREE copy of this beautiful classic romance novel today!
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