The French Lieutenant's Woman Criticism

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Soon after its publication in 1969, John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman became a critically acclaimed best seller in England, America, and France. Critics enthusiastically praised its rich storytelling along with its innovative style.

Literary scholar Ian Watt, in his review of the novel for The New York Times Book Review, declared it to be "immensely interesting, attractive and human" and expressed "awe, at such harmonious a mingling of the old and new in manner and matter." He found the themes "both richly English and convincingly existential." A reviewer for Life enjoyed Fowles mixture of existentialism with the previous century's sensualism, which results in "a novel of such riches that it meets the oldest, simplest, and least fashionable test of excellence. You never want it to end." The New York Times review insisted it "signals the sudden but predictable arrival of a remarkable novelist."

The novel continues to receive...

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This section contains 220 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.