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Richelieu's Desmarets and the Century of Louis XIV$
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Hugh Gaston Hall

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198151579

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151579.001.0001

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The Novels and the New Académie-Française

The Novels and the New Académie-Française

(p.109) 5 The Novels and the New Académie-Française
Richelieu's Desmarets and the Century of Louis XIV

Hugh Gaston Hall

Oxford University Press

Jean Desmarets published three novels: Ariane, read from the manuscript in 1631 to the group of men who formed the Académie-Française and dedicated ‘Aux Dame’ in 1632 under the pseudonym ‘de Boisval’; Rosane, dedicated in his own name to the Duchesse d'Aiguillon in 1639; and La Vérité des fables, dedicated to Anne of Austria in 1647. Classified as ‘romans héroïques’ by Charles Sorel, these works might equally well be described as historical romances with pastoral features. All three are to some extent idealist and exemplary, involving extraordinary characters in extraordinary situations, although not to the total exclusion of episodes in the modes of contemporary ‘histoires comiques’ and ‘nouvelles tragicomiques’. Desmarets's baroque comes with an occasional flavour of the burlesque. Rosane is said to be a ‘roman à clé’. The other two may also allude to current events more obliquely.

Keywords:   Jean Desmarets, Ariane, Académie-Française, Aux Dames, de Boisval, Rosane, Duchesse d'Aiguillon, La Vérité des fables, Anne of Austria

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