The French Lieutenant's Woman Topics for Further Study
by John Fowles

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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

Research the treatment of women in England in the 1860s. How does Fowles depictions of Ernestina and Sarah reflect and challenge Victorian notions of the proper behavior of women?

Read Fowles The Collector (1963) and compare its focus on male/female dynamics to that of The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

View the film version of the novel and discuss the changes in Pinter’s screenplay as compared to the novel. Explain whether or not you think the film stays true to the thematic import of the novel.

Investigate British class structure of the period in which the novel is set. What changes were taking place? What rules were maintained? How are these changes and rules reflected in the novel?