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The Reinvention of Love

by Helen Humphreys

Set in Paris during the reign of Napoleon III, this is a story based on fact about Victor Hugo, his wife Adele and their friend, Charles Saint-Beuve. A love story which gives us an insight into the lives of these writers at this time. It's poignant, tender but also amusing in parts - and it changed my opinion of a great author.





Extract

I arrive first and take a seat near the back of the church. It is afternoon. The building is empty apart from me, and my slightest movement echoes loudly in the cavernous chamber. The pew is uncomfortable and when i shift on the hard wooden bench the rustle of my skirts can be heard through the vaulted rooms ...
... You might think this is the secret I was referring to earlier, but this is not. Dressing as a woman to rendezvous with Adele is simple strategy. Two women in church are not given a second thought, a second glance. Two women can sit close together on the same pew, can walk down the street with their arms linked, and arouse no suspicion. They will not be thought as lovers. They will merely be two friends out enjoying the city together.

Parallels

The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
 

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