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Literary Precedents for The French Lieutenant's Woman

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Literary Precedents

Fowles believes that the literary precedent for all his fiction, as well as for fiction itself, is the Celtic romance, which focused on the questing hero and the concept of love. This influence is apparent in all of his novels, which examine the way in which the modern protagonist must quest and the way in which he must come to know and experience love if he is to be successful.

While the Celtic romance forms the basis of all Fowles's fiction, The French Lieutenant's Woman certainly has as a precedent the literary conventions of historical fiction, in particular, the Victorian novel form. The chapters begin with quotations from many of those to whom he pays tribute: among them Hardy, Thackeray, and Austen.

Poets also inform the fiction, most particularly Tennyson and Arnold, with a fragment from Arnold's poem "To Margueriteu 'Continued'" providing the significant summing up of Charles's...

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This section contains 226 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The French Lieutenant's Woman Study Guide
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The French Lieutenant's Woman from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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