Read The Wife of Martin Guerre by Janet Lewis Online


In this new edition of Janet Lewiss classic short novel, The Wife of Martin Guerre, Swallow Press executive editor Kevin Haworth writes that Lewiss story is a short novel of astonishing depth and resonance, a sharply drawn historical tale that asks contemporary questions about identity and belonging, about men and women, and about an individuals capacity to act within an inflexible system Originally published in 1941, The Wife of Martin Guerre has earned the respect and admiration of critics and readers for over sixty years.Based on a notorious trial in sixteenth century France, this story of Bertrande de Rols is the first of three novels making up Lewiss Cases of Circumstantial Evidence suite the other two are The Trial of Sren Qvist and The Ghost of Monsieur Scarron Swallow Press is delighted and honored to offer readers beautiful new editions of all three Cases of Circumstantial Evidence novels, each featuring a new introduction by Kevin Haworth....

Title : The Wife of Martin Guerre
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780804011433
ISBN13 : 978-0804011433
Format Type : Other Book
Language : Englisch
Publisher : SWALLOW PR INC 6 August 2013
Number of Pages : 116 Seiten
File Size : 971 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Wife of Martin Guerre Reviews

  • None
    2019-04-19 23:32

    I have read this book and although it was very accurate and well written, it was not the sort of book that I was not able to put down. I would recommend this book to anyone who is fascinated by minute detail.

  • None
    2019-04-07 04:14

    I have read this book and although it was very accurate and well written, it was not the sort of book that I was not able to put down. I would recommend this book to anyone who is fascinated by minute detail.

  • None
    2019-03-29 02:20

    I read this book for my English class. It was interesting and I love it. I could not put it down until I finished it.(^_^)

  • None
    2019-04-03 03:28

    I read this book for my English class. It was interesting and I love it. I could not put it down until I finished it.(^_^)

  • R. M. Peterson
    2019-03-27 23:11

    In 1539, at age eleven, Bertrande de Rols was married to Martin Guerre, also eleven. It was an arranged wedding, intended to unite two influential peasant families of Gascony. At age fourteen, Bertrande moved into the house, and the bed, of her husband. She gave birth to a son when twenty, but shortly later Martin left the Guerre estate, unable to comply with the subservience to his father that tradition demanded. Over time Bertrande began to think her husband dead. But eight years after he had left, and after the deaths of both his parents, Martin Guerre returned, to the joy of almost everyone -- all except Bertrande, who first suspected and then firmly believed the returned prodigal son to be an impostor. Should she denounce him? Devout Catholic that she was, should she share her body with him? Was she mad? These and related questions plagued Bertrande over the next three years. Eventually everything came to a head in legal proceedings against the returned Martin Guerre for imposture, and in each of two trials a different surprise witness turned up. The ultimate disposition of the case vindicated Bertrande from a legal standpoint, although her life was ruined despite having tried to conduct herself by the light of the truth as she saw it.It is a captivating tale. Moreover, in its principal elements it is a true tale. THE WIFE OF MARTIN GUERRE is an historical novel -- at ninety-eight pages, more a novella. Janet Lewis writes in a poised, unadorned manner. With relatively few strokes, she gives a masterly portrayal of both Bertrande's psychological being and the setting of sixteenth-century rural France. She writes without the hipness, cynicism, or irony that mark so much twentieth-century American fiction. The novella is a small gem, well worth the two hours or so required to read it.Janet Lewis had a long life -- 1899 to 1998. She was a high school classmate of Ernest Hemingway; both their families vacationed in up-state Michigan and both wrote short stories about the area. Her prose is quite different from Hemingway's, however. While hers too is spare, it is less edgy and self-consciously modern; it does not call attention to itself via authorial quirks or trademarks. In 1926, while a tuberculosis patient in Santa Fe, Lewis married the poet Yvor Winters. Over her career, she wrote at least four other novels and a handful of volumes of poetry. I intend to seek out more of her work.This edition includes an excellent article by Larry McMurtry (originally published in "The New York Review of Books") about Lewis and her writings.

  • William Porter
    2019-03-28 03:26

    This was recommended by D.G. Myers on the Commonplace Blog and I'm very glad I took his suggestion. The author (Janet Lewis) tells a story that is at once beautiful and deeply troubling. The writing is a joy to read. Not an ordinary mystery at all, that is, not a whodunit, but a mystery about human knowledge and loyalty and faith. And while it is a great work of literature, it is not "literary" in any negative sense, no dazzling/annoying stylistic quirks, no avant grade narrative techniques. It's a short and reasonably straightforward story and an easy, pleasurable read — but there's a lot to meditate on as you read and after. Best novel I've read in years.

  • Vincent Poirier
    2019-04-10 05:20

    ****Warning: spoilers ****With her very short novel, Lewis offers a model of economical storytelling.This true tale is famous enough. In the sixteenth century, Martin Guerre leaves the family farm in southern France escaping his father's wrath and perhaps seeking adventure. Years later, a man claiming to be Martin returns. He is changed but convinces the abandoned wife and family that he is truly Martin. After three years, he is accused of imposture and convicted. Just as his conviction is about to be overturned on appeal, the real Martin dramatically reappears, the impostor's guilt is confirmed, leading to his execution.Lewis adapts many of the facts. For one thing, she underplays the role of Pierre, Martin's uncle, in the accusation and she presents Bertrande, Martin's wife, as the chief accuser. Lewis never mentions Bertrande's mother, who in real life was married to Martin's uncle Pierre, and who played a large part in the actual events. But this is a novel, not a historical essay. In the end, we see more sharply into human nature than we would were the novel more accurate.Lewis demonstrates her artistry in the resolution, when the last shred of doubt is lifted from Bertrande's heart. Martin's father is a just but stern and autocratic man. Early in the book, his authority causes him to strike Martin and break two teeth; the event later comes up as evidence supporting the impostor's claim since he has the same two teeth broken. The same stern and pitiless authority causes Martin to leave the farm as he fears his father's anger for taking some seed without permission. Finally when Martin reappears at the end of the appeal, he refuses to forgive Bertrande claiming that she should have known the impostor from the start. He shows her the same pitiless character his father showed him.Brilliantly, with one single trait (lack of pity) Lewis establishes two plot devices (the identifying teeth and the reason for leaving) she defines two supporting characters (the father and the son) and she develops the main character (Bertrande) when she realizes she has lost the love of her real husband. A lesser writer would simply have explained it all in so many words, as I just did.Vincent Poirier, Tokyo

    2019-04-19 22:21

    I normally read nonfiction, but this short historical fiction was intriguing even to a diehard realist. I finished the book in a couple of hours. Follow up consultation of Wikipedia elucidated where the novel deviated from or omitted incidents in the historical record. Excellent writing, worth a read!

  • C. Frey
    2019-04-07 04:15

    Read it before and loved it again. It’s a perfect way to lose yourself in the story and forgetting the terrible current scene in the U.S.