Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
In the spring of 1819, Jeanne Le Perthuis des Vauds and her parents go to live in an old chateau, The Poplars, on the Normandy coast. Baron Simon-Jacques Le Perthuis des Vauds was left a large inheritance, but he so reduces it by his freehandedness that he is eventually forced to reconcile himself for the remainder of his days to a simple country life.
Jeanne, who spent the preceding five years in a convent, looks forward happily to her new life and dreams of the day when she will find the man who loves her. All her expectations are fulfilled. She finds a beautiful countryside to wander over and the sea to bathe in and to sail on. She meets a neighbor, the handsome young Viscount Julien de Lamare, who comes to call, and they quickly become good friends. When the baron presents his daughter with a boat, he invites the village priest and his acolytes to christen it. To Jeanne, the ceremony seems like a wedding, and under the spell of her illusion, she accepts his proposal when Julien asks her to marry him. The wedding takes place that summer, six weeks after they became engaged.
At Jeanne’s wish, the couple journeys to Corsica on their honeymoon. She was romantically in love with her husband before her marriage, but during the two months she is away from home with him her emotion grows into a passion. Thus she is amazed, when they stop in Paris on their way home, to find that Julien is not perfect. She gives him her filled purse, her...
(The entire section is 1432 words.)
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