The novel of the famous English writer John Fowles “The Woman of the English Lieutenant”, written in 1969 is considered the classic of postmodern literature. The novel takes place at the end of the 19th century in Victorian England. The protagonist, an aristocrat named Charles, engaged to a rich bride, in one seaside town, accidentally meets with a girl named Sarah, who is all called “the woman of a French lieutenant.” Ostensibly a few years ago a certain visiting Frenchman seduced this girl and subsequently abandoned it. After this incident, all turned away from her and she had to go to work as a maid in one rich local family. Touched by her story, Charles falls in love with Sarah, takes her to another city, where one of the nights it turns out that Sarah is a virgin, and this whole story with seduction is a lie. Charles leaves to break with the bride, and after returning, discovers that Sarah has disappeared. A few years later, he meets her in England, a friend
of a famous British artist.
The author offers the reader a choice of several finals of the novel. In one, Charles and Sarah marry. In the other part forever.
The novel “The Woman of the French Lieutenant” was filmed in 1981. The main roles were played by Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons.
The author of the question chose this answer the best
The action takes place in the ancient English town of Lyme Regis. Charles Smithton, betrothed to Ernestina, who was called the Unfortunate Tragedy, or the woman of a French lieutenant. Sarah behaved in a very mysterious and mysterious way, wandering through the wasteland and idle for hours on the seashore.
One day after a storm on the shore, an officer with a broken leg was picked up, and Sarah helped him than she could. Leaving after recovery, he promised to return and marry her. Since then she spends all her free time on the beach, standing there like a statue and looking afar.
Because of the gossip, Sarah was always refused a place, and Mrs. Poulteney, known for her petty tyranny, took her to her companions. Sarah behaves surprisingly
independently, which Charles did not fail to notice when he visited Mrs. Poulteney’s visit.
Then he meets Sarah several times on the Viersky Wasteland, where she was forbidden to appear. Knowing his passion for paleontology, Sarah presents him with rare specimens.
Dr. Grogan in a conversation with Charles explains the state of Sarah with bouts of melancholy and psychosis, as a result of which mourning for her becomes happiness. And meetings with Sarah acquire a special meaning for Charles.
Sarah tells Charles the story of her fall, about how she gave herself up to the handsome lieutenant in an indecent hotel. And now she already does not hope for his return, because he knows about his marriage.
Dr. Grogan does not believe Sarah and talks about it to Charles, but he goes on a date. Meanwhile, Mrs. Poulteney drove Sarah out of the house, and she hides in the barn, where Charles also comes. There also come Sam and Mary, servants of Mrs. Poulteney. Charles takes from them the promise to remain silent, gives Sarah money and hurries away, without telling his fiancee Ernestine.
One day he hired a prostitute, similar to Sarah and with the same name, but this only makes him sick with nausea. After receiving a letter from the bride, Charles, without saying goodbye to Sarah, returns to Ernestine, marries her, and they live happily ever after.
But further it turns out that this end is only a joke and provocation of the author, who advises those who believed in such an end, even not even read.
In an alternative version, Charles comes to the hotel to Sarah, where he discovers that she is a virgin. While he is praying for forgiveness in the church, Sarah disappears. Charles wants to marry her, breaking his old engagement, taking him away, taking care of her, but… can not find her.
The news of Sarah Charles Smithton receives in America three years later and finds it in the house of the artist Rosetti along with his one-year-old daughter.
But this is not the end!
Met Sarah, Charles realized that he was a toy in her hands, and leaves to start life anew.