The Story of the Marquise-Marquis de Banneville
Introduction by Joan DeJean, Translated by Steven Rendall
The beautiful Marquise de Banneville meets a handsome marquis, and they fall in love. But the young woman is actually a young man (brought up as a girl and completely in the dark about her—or his—true sex), while the marquis is actually a young woman who likes to cross-dress. Will they live happily ever after?
In the introduction, Joan DeJean presents the fascinating puzzle of authorship of this lighthearted gender-bending tale written in the late seventeenth century in France. Was it François-Timoléon de Choisy, an abbot who was happiest in drag? Marie-Jeanne L'Héritier, an outspoken defender of women's writing of her day? Or Charles Perrault, L'Héritier's uncle and the famous author of such fairy tales as "Sleeping Beauty"? DeJean argues that the tale was a collaboration of all three and discusses the permeable borderline between masculinity and femininity, transvestism, and tolerance—then and now.
About the Authors
François-Timoléon de Choisy was a French author. He was an influential figure in the seventeenth-century French ecclesiastical community.
Marie-Jeanne L'Héritierwas a French writer in the seventeenth century.L'Héritier was a defender of women's writing and a significant writer in the fairy tale genre.
Charles Perrault was a seventeenth-century French writer and a member of the Académie française. Perrault's stories have been influential in developing the fairy tale as a literary genre.
Steven Rendall is professor emeritus of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon.
Joan DeJean's books reflect her areas of research: the history of women's writing in France (Tender Geographies: Women and the Origins of the Novel in France); the history of sexuality (Fictions of Sappho, 1546-1937); the development of the novel (Literary Fortifications; Libertine Strategies); and the cultural history and the material culture of late 17th- and early 18th-century France (Ancients against Moderns: Culture Wars and the Making of a Fin de Siècle; The Essence of Style; The Age of Comfort).
"The text has many interesting applications in the undergraduate and graduate classrooms. The crossed-dress life that the characters share offers a fascinating, unconventional approach to court culture of seventeenth-century France, as well as to thorny issues of contemporary society. Joan DeJean provides an excellent introduction that places the appeal of the text firmly within a historical perspective." —Harriet Stone, Washington University
Other Titles by François-Timoléon de Choisy
Other Titles by Marie-Jeanne L'Héritier
Other Titles by Charles Perrault
Other Titles by Steven Rendall
Other Titles by Joan DeJean
Other Titles from MLA Texts and Translations
Other Titles in FICTION / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology