Born Dutch, noble, and free-spirited, Isabelle de Charrière (also known as Belle de Zuylen) was an enlightened woman whose writings - not unlike Jane Austen's - tackled the intricacies of high society, particularly in matters of love. Published when she was only twenty- two, 'The Nobleman' is a Persuasion-like tale whose heroine challenges her stodgy father in order to marry a man of unassuming ancestry. But Charrière did not confine herself to simple marriage plots and country courtships. Another story, 'Eagonlette and Suggestina', is a thinly veiled critique of Marie Antoinette, cleverly disguised as a fairy tale. The Nobleman and Other Romances will delight fans of Jane Austen and Enlightenment-era French literature.
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Isabelle de Charriere (1740-1805), known as Belle van Zuylen in the Netherlands and Madame de Charriere elsewhere, was a Dutch writer of the Enlightenment who lived the latter half of her life in Switzerland. She is now best known for her letters although she also wrote novels, pamphlets, music and plays. She took a keen interest in the society and politics of her age, and her work around the time of the French Revolution is regarded as being of particular interest.
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