The French Lieutenant's Woman Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The French Lieutenant's Woman

Charles Smithson, a fairly intelligent Victorian gentleman engaged to marry a respectable young thing, becomes fascinated by a dark-haired beauty who stands on a breakwater and stares out to sea. Thinking perhaps to help Sarah out of her misery, he falls deeply into her secrets and mystery. I have described him as protagonist and her as antagonist mainly because we see things mostly from his point of view, though she is the center of the narrative. This classic Victorian love story is couched within a post-modern, self-conscious meditation on authentic existence, evolution, and Marxism. Fowles also takes brief essay-like excursions into Victorian sex mores, the wonders of wild nature, and other historical topics. The ideas never overwhelm the plot, but merely offer themselves as extra cream for the discriminating reader to enjoy. And the book has three different endings!
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of The French Lieutenant's Woman

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   upbeat Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Lover is    -   of a different social class

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   wealthy Age:    -   20's-30's


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   7 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Mountains/Cliffs    -   Yes Mountains:    -   climbing on trails Water?    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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John Fowles Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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