For some strange reason, I have never quite gotten to read E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Mademoiselle de Scudéri, A Tale from the Times of Louis XIV… but I had it in my mailbox the other day and read it thus, while I totally was not supposed to engage in other activities.
Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann was a Prussian Romantic author of fantasy and Gothic horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. (Busy man.) His tale was first published in 1819 and circles around the famous French writer Madeleine de Scudéry.
Set in Paris of the 1680’s, just after the events of the affaire des poisons, when everyone was paranoid someone was about to murder them, Mademoiselle de Scuderi gets involved into a criminal case of robbery, murder and deceit, that keeps all of Paris awake during the nights, as well a tragic love-story. How? By uttering the words un amant, qui craint les voleurs, n’est point digne d’amour to Louis XIV. In the end, it is up to her to turn everything to a good end. Will she manage? You have to read to find out.
The story is not too long of a read. Perfect for a rainy autumn afternoon snuggled into a blanket, a long car drive, flight, or to pass some hours.
It is well written, detailed, with interesting plot twists, and well researched. Being a classic, it is available in various languages and for little money. (Here’s a link for Amazon UK) If you decide to get yourself a copy, let me know how you like it… and if you guessed who was behind it all.