Le Grand Meaulnes (The Wanderer) Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Le Grand Meaulnes (The Wanderer)

This tragic love story as seen through the eyes of Francois Seurel concerns the larger than life Antoine Meaulnes affectionately known as Le Grand Meaulnes by his classmates. Set during their final years at school this is an adolescent story of love and longing. Meaulnes chances upon a strange and wonderful wedding party where he meets and falls in love with Yvonne the daughter of the owner of the grand house where the party is taking place. Alas the fiancée Valentine decides she doesn't want to marry Frantz the son and the party is over. Meaulnes having found the party by accident falls asleep on the way back from the house and finds that he has forgotten where the house and the love of his life is. There follows a summer of yearning and it isn't until Frantz appears as part of a travelling circus in the small town where they go to school that Meaulnes is given clues as to where his sweetheart is. It turns out the family have a house in Paris and wealthy Meaulnes leaves Seurel and goes to Paris where he moons around outside Yvonne's house hoping to catch a glimpse of her. Fortunately Seurel learns where Yvonne's country house is and soon he and his friend Meaulnes are invited to a picnic with Yvonne. Meaulnes and Yvonne don't completely hit it off as ever after so much longing but he asks her to marry him and she accepts. This classic tale of youthful love and longing was Alain-Fournier's only novel written before he was killed in the First World War.
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The review of this Book prepared by John Marcel

The author, who would be killed on the battlefield in World War I at the age of 28, put a bit of himself in the three male characters of this story: Mealnes, the wanderer; Seurel, his more sensible friend and the narrator; and de Galais, the aristocrat and despairing lover. All three are child-men, little more than teenagers fascinated by and fearful of love and sexuality. Meulnes and Seurel are middle-school classmates when the former disappears for three days over Christmas and returns to tell a fantastic tale of a fairy-tale-like wedding feast, a mansion, and a bewitching girl he met there. He longs for nothing more than to return to the place and the woman. The feast was to honor the marriage of the girl's brother Frantz de Galais, but it did not come off. The three men's (and two women's) lives cross and intertwine in the few succeeding years, through this magical, mysterious, and romantic tale (which served as the primary inspiration for John Fowles's _The Magus_).
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

A coming of age story, set in the beautiful French countryside, about a young, popular boy troubled by the image of a beautiful woman he strives desperately to recapture.
The review of this Book prepared by darragh o'donoghue

Chapter Analysis of Le Grand Meaulnes (The Wanderer)

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   rekindling lost love/marriage Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France Small town?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Henri Alain-Fournier Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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