Abbe Prevost

Manon Lescaut
  • Manon Lescaut

  • When the young Chevalier des Grieux first sets eyes on the exquisitely beautiful and charming Manon Lescaut they fall passionately in love. But his happiness turns to bitter despair when he discovers that Manon is mercenary and immoral, and has taken a rich lover to pay for their life of pleasure. A broken man, he swears to stay away from her, but cannot. Just as the Chevalier is helpless to end their relationship, so Manon is incapable of giving up the source of her income, and the lovers enter a destructive cycle that can only end in tragedy. Manon Lescaut (1731) is a devastating depiction of obsessive love and a haunting portrait of a captivating but dangerous woman.

Antoine-Francois Prevost was born in 1697. Educated by the Jesuits, he entered the army, later returning to the Jesuits, before becoming a Benedictine monk with the congregation of Saint-Maur. However, his taste for the wordly life led him to flee the cloister in 1728 after which he spent the next six years in exile in Holland. He began writing in 1728 and Mamon Lescaut casued a sensation on its publication in 1731. He died in 1763. Leonard Tancock was a Fellow of University College, London until his death in 1986. He translated many works from French for the Penguin Classics. Jean Sgard is a Professor of French Literature at the Stendhal University in Grenoble.

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