John Fowles Biography | Author of The French Lieutenant's Woman

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John Fowles was born on March 31, 1926, in a suburb of London. Ellen Pifer notes that Fowles characterized his hometown as "dominated by conformism—he pursuit of respectability." His early opposition to conformity would grow into a strong sense of individuality, a subject that emerges in many of his works. He attended Bedford School in London where he admits, he became adept at wearing masks. Pifer writes that Fowles insists the English "very rarely say what they actually think. That could derive from Puritanism—hiding emotions and wearing a public mask." Fowles concludes, "I suffer from it like everyone of my type and background. I've played the game all my life." Pifer argues that this theme emerges in his fiction as his characters "share their author's facility with masks, and their success at masking their real feelings often proves a hindrance to their internal development."

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This section contains 366 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The French Lieutenant's Woman Study Guide
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The French Lieutenant's Woman from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.