The French Lieutenant's Woman
In The French Lieutenant's Woman, the intrusive modern narrator tells and retells a story of a "fallen" woman in Lyme in 1867. Concern for her becomes an obsession which causes a tragedy in the lives of a young gentleman, Charles Smithson, and his fiancee, Ernestina Freeman. The writer, using citations, asides, dialogue, narrative commentary, and plot twists, unfurls a theme familiar to both Austen and Thomas Hardy--the injustice experienced by women in Victorian society. In the end, Fowles offers readers a choice of endings, one comic, one tragic.