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Last Updated on March 11, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 377

The Chouans

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The Chouans are a group of rebels in the Brittany region of France. Historically, they are a real people, led in rebellion against the crown by Jean Chouan. They are a persistent group, and in Les Chouans they follow the leadership of Marquis de Montauran. There are multiple minor characters who are members of this group.


Corentin is the detective tasked with finding the leader of the Chouan resistance. He is a cunning and intelligent man who is focused wholeheartedly on the task of the Marquis' capture. Later in the story, he tricks his partner, Marie, into believing the Marquis, who is her fiancé, is in love with another, leading her to sentence all the rebels, including her fiancé, to death.

Marie de Verneuil

Marie is the protagonist of the novel. She is a wealthy aristocrat who is tasked with working with Corentin to find and subdue the leader of the Chouans. She eventually falls in love with the Marquis, but sends orders for his and the other rebels’ execution after believing he is not truly in love with her and is actually in love with her sworn enemy. She spends the final portion of the novel trying in vain to save his life the day after their wedding.

Marquis de Montauran

Marquis de Montauran is the charismatic leader of the Chouans. He is intelligent and cunning, able to evade capture and plan battles, but is relatively impoverished. He is well respected by his followers, and his charm eventually convinces Marie to marry him. They have a short life together, their engagement is in the midst of the turmoil of the war and his pursuit, and he is killed the day after they marry because of the order Marie executed.


Hulot is a loyal commanding officer in the French Republic Army. He is sent to fight the insurgent Chouans.

Madame du Gua Saint-Cyr

Mme. du Gua Saint-Cyr is Montauran's mother. She fiercly loves her son and supports his rebellious cause, but she does not support his love for Marie and tries to have her killed.


Marche-à-Terre is one of the main rebel Chouans. He is cut throat and violent and leads the rebels down a path of treachery.


Francine is Marie's maid and Marche-à-Terre's former lover.


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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 340

Characters Discussed

The Marquis de Montauran

The Marquis de Montauran (mohn-toh-RAN), fiery leader of the Chouans, rebels against the French Republic. His nickname is Gars, and he is the son of Mme du Gua. He loves Marie de Verneuil, although he is warned that she is a spy. He goes to her home to marry her after she herself has told him that she has been hired to betray him. the morning after the marriage, he is shot and captured; later, he dies in prison, after he tries to escape from her house in Fougéres.

Marie de Verneuil

Marie de Verneuil (vehr-nyew-YUH), in love with Montauran. She is the natural daughter of the duke de Verneuil and the former wife of Danton. When Montauran’s jealous mother tries to shoot her, Marie seeks revenge, but her love eventually conquers her hate. She marries Montauran hoping they can escape from intrigues and leave France. Her plans fail, and she is shot wearing her husband’s uniform while acting as a decoy to help him escape.


Hulot (ew-LOH), an officer in the French Republican Army, sent to put down the rebellious Chouans, an aggregation of aristocrats, smugglers, and Breton peasants. He is utterly disgusted by the capture and death of Montauran and Marie de Verneuil.

Mme du Gua Saint-Cyr

Mme du Gua Saint-Cyr (gwa sahn-SEHR), jealous mother of Montauran. She knows of her son’s rebellious activities and supports him in them. When she discovers Marie’s love for her son, she tries to shoot Marie.


Corentin (koh-rahn-TAN), a spy for the French Republic. It is he who employs Marie as a lure to trap Montauran and bring the Chouan leader to his death.


Francine (frahn-SEEN), former sweetheart of Marche-à-Terre. She is Marie’s maid.


Marche-à-Terre (mahr-shah-TEHR), one of the rebellious Chouans. A fierce and rapacious villain, he leads the rebels in forays of thievery and violence.


Galpe-Chopine (galp-shoh-PEEN), a peasant who helps Marie in many ways.


Barbette, the wife of Galpe-Chopine.