chapter  7
16 Pages

Paul et Virginie

ByMalcolm Cook

With the publication of Paul et Virginie in 1788 as part of the third edition of the Etudes, Bernardin's reputation was to grow and his life was to change yet again. Henceforth, he would be known as the author of the work that has been published more times than any other in the history of the French novel. This chapter looks at the evidence of the novel's success as shown in the correspondence with little-known individuals, then at the letters received from friends or from those who would become friends, and finally examines the critical reviews of the novel to ascertain those qualities in particular that were praised by the critics. The chapter also examines the work in the light of contemporary criticism in order to understand better the impact this short text had on Bernardin's life.