Francoise de Graffigny and the sequelization phenomenon
The Lettres d’une Péruvienne by Francoise de Graffigny was a popular novel in eighteenth-century France. Nevertheless, many of its readers were left dissatisfied and troubled. They felt that the ending, which left the heroine happily unmarried, left them expecting more. In fact, they did not feel the novel was concluded at all, and that it needed to be finished. The authors of sequels to the Lettres d’une Péruvienne were more than happy to comply. Although Graffigny published two editions of the novel, she refused to change the ending. Her strong desire to conclude with an independent and happy heroine is evidence of her wish to convey a philosophical message about the role of women in eighteenth-century society to her contemporaries, who for the most part did not grasp the novel’s implications. Five sequels and several adaptations appeared on the market during the Eighteenth Century. The mere existence of so many adaptive works is an indication of Graffigny’s widespread influence. To one degree or another, all of these literary follow-ups modify Graffigny’s ending in keeping with traditional literary norms, in which the heroine either marries or passes away. The tendency of other writers to overlook the inherent message in Graffigny’s work while ultimately forcing her conclusion into line with a conservative worldview is strong evidence of the innovative quality of her work. Through their efforts to negate Graffigny’s philosophical message, the writers of sequels ultimately confirm her status as a femme philosophe .
School:The Ohio State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:graffigny sequel philosophe lettres d une peruvienne
Date of Publication:01/01/2005