Françoise le Marchand deserves to be reckoned a significant,
if slightly shadowy, figure in the revival of contes de fées in
1730s and 1740s France.
It is not obvious why either of the two novellas translated here, Florine
(1713) and Boca (1735) had to be published illicitly, but it undoubtedly
reflects the fact that the genre was effectively under a royal ban in
the aftermath of the scandal that had caused Louis XIV to break up the
coterie of female writers who pioneered it. Le Marchand could not have
been unaware of the fact that the scandal involved allegations of lesbianism,
and the two works presented here contain odd features, which might not
be unconnected with that context.
While a little eccentric in their construction, both works stand out for
their imaginative imagery.
Florine; or, The Italian Beauty (1713)
Boca; or, Virtue Recompensed (1735)
The Story of Princess Abdelazis
Introduction and Notes by Brian Stableford.
Cover by Mike Hoffman
Published by Black Coat Press in November 2018