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The Passion of Mademoiselle S.

The Passion of Mademoiselle S.

By Jean-Yves Berthaultpaperback1 February 2016
$29.99
or 4 payments of $7.50 with Learn more
Booklovers earn $1.45 in rewards
Paris, 1928- two lovers are conducting a secret and deeply erotic affair. Charles is a married man with a respectable office job when he embarks on a journey of wild sexual discovery with Simone, whose voracious appetite for the erotic is not confined to the bedroom, but is poured into the illicit letters she writes to him over the course of two years. This extraordinary collection of letters, found in a dusty cellar decades later, reveals not just a carnal relationship but an obsessive and destructive love that pushed the boundaries and was, in many ways, ahead of its time. The Passion of Mademoiselle S. paints a vivid portrait of a violently passionate love affair that evolves in astounding and unexpected ways. Framed by illuminating insights from its discoverer, Jean-Yves Berthault, this correspondence opens a window on another time and an exceptional woman whose voice echoes down the century and still resonates today.

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: The Passion of Mademoiselle S.
  • Author: Jean-Yves Berthault
  • Publisher: The Text Publishing Company
  • ISBN: 9781925240504
  • Length: 2.1 centimetre
  • Width: 15.5 centimetre
  • Languages: English

RATINGS & REVIEW

20/01/2016 6:25:10 PM - Marianne
Surprisingly candid.
The Passion of Mademoiselle S: Letters to a Lover is the first book by retired French diplomat, Jean-Yves Berthault. The book comprises a collection of passionate letters written by a certain Parisienne, identified only as Simone, to her married lover, Charles. The satchel of letters was discovered hidden in a forgotten cellar in Paris by the author when he was helping to clean out a friend's apartment. They are flawlessly translated from the original French by Adriana Hunter. The letters were written over the period of their two year affair in the late 1920s, and sent by mail, by pneumatique (a type of air tube system in use at the time by the French postal service similar to those still in use by supermarkets to deliver cash change to cashiers, and in hospitals to deliver pathology samples and other small items between departments) or by hand during their personal encounters, when they might be read in each other’s presence. For this book, Berthault compiled and edited about a third of the letters, which were written quite frequently: daily, sometimes more often, but at least every few days. Most of the letters follow a basic script: Simone professes her undying love for Charles; she recalls the activities of their last encounter; she anticipates what they might do during their next session and (after the first few letters) begins to make suggestions; if they are separated by distance, she tells Charles how much she misses him; she says how much she looks forward to their next tryst; she expresses (in later letters) her jealousy of his wife; she again professes her love; she asks if he still loves her and seeks reassurance that their relationship will not end; all of this in quite flowery language. Because we have only Simone’s letters, it is rather like being party to one side of a long and protracted conversation: very little of Charles or Simone’s lives outside their short but intense encounters is revealed. Readers should be prepared for explicit sexual descriptions. This is erotica: penetration of every conceivable orifice, the use of sexual aids, threesomes and foursomes, some BDSM, homosexual and lesbian sex are all described in graphic detail. Readers who appreciate erotica might enjoy this book although this is not one to be read in large chunks. Because of the similar content of each letter, they are best read in short segments: the power of erotica to titillate is blunted by repeated exposure, resulting in erotica overload, and rendering the sex boring and tedious. Berthault’s footnotes add some interest, giving the letters context, but the lack of backstory and everyday detail about the correspondents’ lives detracts from the fascination. Their anonymity, at first intriguing, becomes a source of frustration, as even the best erotica lacks appeal without some sort of plot and a bit of character background. Berthault’s selection of letters does demonstrate Simone’s increasing feelings of insecurity, and the lengths to which she is prepared to go to keep her lover’s attention. Surprisingly candid.
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