Of all John Fowles' novels The French Lieutenant's Woman received the most universal acclaim and today holds a very special place in the canon of post-war English literature. From the god-like stance of the nineteenth-century novelist that he both assumes and gently mocks, to the last detail of dress, idiom and manners, his book is an immaculate recreation of Victorian England. Not only is it the epic love story of two people of insight and imagination seeking escape from the cant and tyranny of their age, The French Lieutenant's Woman is also a brilliantly sustained allegory of the decline of the twentieth-century passion for freedom
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John Fowles was born in England in 1926 and educated at Bedford School and Oxford University. He won international recognition with his first published title. The Collector (1963), being immediately acclaimed as an outstandingly innovative writer of exceptional imaginative power. This reputation was confirmed with the appearance of his subsequent works, including The Magus (1966) and The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969). John Fowles died in 2005.From AudioFile:
In this contemporary, Victorian-style novel Charles Smithson, a nineteenth-century gentleman with glimmerings of twentieth-century perceptions, falls in love with enigmatic Sarah Woodruff, who has been jilted by a French lover. Paul Shelley's subtle presentation does full justice to Fowles' artful, mysterious tale, whether he's reading an exposition on Darwinian theory or narration of romantic assignations and broken promises. Never once does he lose the listener as the author moves between the past and present, commenting on Victorian customs, politics and morays. And never once does he give away the novel's surprise ending. Enthusiastically recommended. R.B.F. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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