|CÚcile (1887) [Novel]|
by Theodor Fontane
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(From the publisher):
The Baroness von St Arnaud; a delicate beauty married to a retired army officer who neglects her, is a tantalising mystery to the much-travelled civil engineer von Gordon who makes her acquaintance at the fashionable spa of Thale in the Harz Mountains. The reader's curiosity, too, is more and more strongly aroused as a story of mutual sexual attraction unfolds. When the scene shifts to the bustling world of the capital and the sharply caricatured reactionary high society in which the St Arnauds move, Cecile's admirer's discovery of her past precipitates a grim climax. Fontane was in love with his female characters 'for their human qualities, that is, for their weaknesses and sins', as he put it. His commitment to female values in a changing but still starkly male-dominated society is conveyed in virtuoso handling of conversation and endlessly subtle and ironic depiction of Prussian attitudes.
Original title: CÚcile
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction