Mauprat

Mauprat

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Mauprat

Mauprat

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Excerpt

When I wrote my novel Mauprat at Nohant—in 1846, if I remember rightly—I had just been suing for a separation. Hitherto I had written much against the abuses of marriage, and perhaps, through insufficiently explaining my views, had induced a belief that I failed to appreciate its essence; but it was at this very time that marriage itself stood before me in all the moral beauty of its principle.

Misfortune is not without its uses to the thoughtful mind. the more clearly I had realized the pain and pity of having to break the sacred bond, the more profoundly I felt that where marriage is wanting, is in certain elements of happiness and justice of too lofty a nature to appeal to our actual society. Nay, more; society strives to take from the sanctity of the institution by treating it as a contract of material interests, attacking it on all sides at once, by the spirit of its manners, by its prejudices, by its hypocritical incredulity.

While writing a novel as an occupation and distraction for my mind, I conceived the idea of portraying an exclusive and undying love, before, during, and after marriage. Thus I drew the hero of my book proclaiming, at the age of eighty, his fidelity to the one woman he had ever loved.

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