Wednesday, October 26, 2016

From the Library of Marie Antoinette: The Dangers of Coquetry

Today's Book: The Dangers of Coquetry

Title: The Dangers of Coquetry (French title: Les Dangers de la coquetterie)

Author: Amelia Opie (1769-1853)

Publication: Originally published in English in 1787; published in French (with a translated by Mme Marie-Armande Jeanne d'Humières) in 1787.

Notes: A novel about a young woman who turns to the dangerous art of coquetry, and finds herself attracted to an upright moral gentlemen who despises coquettish behavior.

This was Opie's first novel, written at the age of 18.

The London Review of 1790 contains an unique observation about Opie's depiction of the effects of coquetry, which most other contemporary reviewers did not pick up on from the work: "for while [the novel] attributes the most mischievous and dreadful consequences to a little innocent coquetry in the character of a wife, it [shows] them to have proceeded from an idle, ridiculous, and unfounded jealousy on part of her husband."

Where you can read it: Currently unavailable online. Broadview Press published a 2-volume book in 2003 which includes The Dangers of Coquetry and another of Opie's works, The Father and Daughter.

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