Author(s): Graham (TRN) Alphonse; Anderson Daudet
Passionate, calculating, only sometimes honourable but always honest, Fanny Legrand is one of the great female characters in literature. Nothing could be more shocking to Jean Gaussin, a serious young student from the provinces, than the moral swamp his mistress has been living in before they met. Sculptor's model, poet's muse, Fanny Legrand has seen and done it all in the twenty years since her first lover, Caoudal, cast in bronze the girl from the Paris gutter and named her Sappho. But revulsion is no match for lust; and little by little, despite continual outbreaks of rage and jealousy, Jean is able to live with Fanny's disgraceful past, to find a certain pleasure in the degraded domesticity of their life together and even to feel a degree of pride in his new connections with famous men. The arrival on the scene of a marriageable young girl seems to offer Jean the escape route he needs: but he cannot bring himself to deal his ageing mistress a potentially fatal blow.