A scandalous bestseller of mid-nineteenth-century France, translated here for the first time into English.
Winner of the 2004 Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation presented by the Texas Institute of Letters
First published in 1846 under the pen name Daniel Stern, Nelida tells the story of a beautiful French heiress who surrenders everything—marriage, reputation, and an aristocratic way of life—for the love of a talented young middle class painter. Based on the author's own ten-year relationship with the pianist and composer Franz Liszt, the novel quickly became the scandalous bestseller of its day. Its author, Marie d'Agoult, has emerged as one of the most remarkable women of her time. An aristocratic Parisian woman who left her husband and child to become the companion of Liszt, d'Agoult became an accomplished woman of letters whose works included a major history of the 1848 revolution in Paris. In Nelida, her only major novel, she brings to life the deeply intimate parts of her own story and the era in which it took place. Written with a keen sensitivity to social mores and psychological nuances, the novel reveals the primal cry of a woman determined to control her own destiny without betraying her womanhood. Appearing here for the first time in English, Lynn Hoggard's translation of Nelida is ripe for rereading by today's readers.
Lynn Hoggard is Professor of English, French, and Humanities at Midwestern State University. She is the author of Married to Dance: The Story of Irina and Frank Pal and translator of Tent Posts, a translation of Henri Michaux's prose poems, Poteaux d'angle.