French novelist Josephine Antoinette Henriette Fanny Arnaud (1802-1870) was a popular nineteenth-century author, who wrote over thirty novels and short stories and poems and whose work was translated into German, Spanish, English, and Arabic during her lifetime. A tumultuous marriage and a bout with what was likely tuberculosis led to Reybaud's luminous literary career, but she died in 1870 virtually forgotten.
Reybaud turned to writing initially as an outlet from her turbulent home life, but soon began publishing her work, itself remarkable for a woman who wrote to a friend that she had no real ambition to be published and that she had "too much antipathy for women who make books." And yet, after some prodding by lifelong friend, noted historian and journalist François Mignet, she shared her stories with the world.
Reybaud's success, however, was hardly immediate; her first few books were flops. Undeterred, Reybaud finally found her stride and her work earned praise from fellow writers and the reading public. Her story sheds new light on the complexities, hardships, and hard-won triumphs of women writers in the 19th century.
Mademoiselle de Malepeire: A New Translation
A modern translation of Fanny Reybaud's 19th-century romance and murder mystery, in which a captivating portrait of a beautiful aristocrat inspires a young scholar to discover the subject's true identity, only to uncover a French Revolution-era tale of murder and deception.
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