A Gentleman, most wretched in his Lot
Primary Text: No MS; 1713 Misc, 227-9.
Secondary Eds: Rpt of 1713: 1903 Reynolds, 202-3; rpt of 1903 Reynolds: 1979 Rogers AF, 133-4.
Source: La Fontaine, "Le Mal Marie," VII, 2, 180-1.
20C: Rpt of 1713/1903: 1990 Lonsdale, 21.
Comment: La Fontaine's text is said to be autobiographical: it is about a man divorcing or not living with his shrewish wife. Fich turns this piece into a tale where a man punishes his shrewish wife by taking her to the country where she can bully no one and he can bully her. She shows real sympathy with put-upon household subjected to a female tyrant (the same kind of sympathy with lower-class people can be found in her "Apology for my fearfull temper" and "Fanscomb Barn"). But the poem will not please feminists.
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Page Last Updated 8 January 2003