Trapped in an unhappy marriage with a boorish, inattentive and socially ambitious husband, Julie de Chaverny enjoys a flirtatious dalliance with the elegant Major de Châteaufort. However, the sudden reappearance of an old admirer, M. Darcy, who has returned from Turkey with a tale of breathtaking derring-do and chivalry to add to his charms, reawakens in Julie a forgotten passion, and convinces her to pursue a rash and dangerous course, one that will have tragic consequences.
Though less well-known than other works by Mérimée, A Slight Misunderstanding
is a masterpiece of psychological insight and a minutely observed social satire.
'Mérimée's tales have gradually come to be considered perfect models of the narrative art, and we confess our own admiration for them is such that we feel like declaring it a capital offence in a young storyteller to put pen to paper without having read them and digested them.' Henry James
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