The French Lieutenant's Woman Questions and Answers
by John Fowles

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Please suggest a contemporary British novel that could be compared to The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles?

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Jessica Gardner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There are also similarities between The French Lieutenant's Woman and Martin Amis' novel London Fields, though on the surface they may seem strikingly different.

Their narrative styles are quite similar in that both stories are relayed to us by a narrator who frequently interjects the text to tell us his opinion of the action. Both narrators also consider themselves the authors of their respective stories. In this way both of the texts are postmodern ones, focused on the "self-conscious act of the author telling a story" (eNotes, The French Lieutenant's Woman: Style).

Secondly, both novels deliver a portrayal of English life and society, which might be pertinent to you in your search for an English novel. London Fields, however, is slightly satirical and conveys a much darker side to London at the turn of the millenium.

Each novel also has a sensual female character who inspires obsession in the men who become enamored by her. Plus, in the same way that Sarah remains an enigma throughout The French Lieutenant, Nicola Six in London Fields is a mystery to the reader. Is she the shy virgin she sometimes pretends to be with Guy? Or the cunning "murderee" she presents herself as to Keith?

Like thanatassa said, you must choose a novel that you can analyze alongside The French Lieutenant's Woman for similarities in style, theme, or whatever else it is you want to focus on in your essay.

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Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In selecting a contemporary British novel to compare to The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles your main task is deciding what theme, idea, or other feature of the novel will be your main point of comparison. If your main interest is the "fallen woman" theme theme, you would need to look for other historical novels, such a A. S. Byatt's Possession, or novels set in India or the Middle East, because adultery and pregnancy out of wedlock simply do not have the resonance now in the west that they did in the 19th century.

If you are more interested in the coming of age of the narrator, and his rejection of a secure bourgeois future for a freer life, you can choose among many novels such as Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. David Lodge's Therapy might also be a good choice.

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gabflutter | Student

Firstly I have chosen "London Fields" but it is not that easily found at libraries.

I would like to focus both on the "fallen woman" in "Possession" and on the innovative narrative strategies in Fowles ("The French Lieutenant's Woman") and "Lucky Jim" and "Therapy", but only after taking the counsel of my teacher.

In your opinion, will my paper be an extensive one, based on the points I want to analyse in it?

Thank you very much