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Distributed for Iter Press

Lucrece and Brutus

Glory in the Land of Tender

Edited and Translated by Sharon Diane Nell

Distributed for Iter Press

Lucrece and Brutus

Glory in the Land of Tender

Edited and Translated by Sharon Diane Nell
A collection of texts by a pioneering seventeenth-century French woman author.
Comprising texts by Madeleine de Scudéry, including many from her novel Clélie, this volume focuses on the story of Lucretia, the Roman matron whose rape and suicide led to the downfall of the Roman monarchy. Through her work, Scudéry seeks to contrast the enormous cultural contributions of women with their physical vulnerability and to propose an alternative to sexual violation, as envisioned on the Map of the Land of Tender that charts an imaginary land in the novel and outlines a path toward love. In Scudéry’s version of this tale, Lucrece and her beloved, Brutus, follow the path of tender friendship. Scudéry contradicts history’s characterization of Lucrece as craving glory in the form of fame. Indeed, contrary to ancient sources, Lucrece’s glory will be her decision to sacrifice herself secretly for her tender friend.

382 pages | 1 map | 6 x 9

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series

Literature and Literary Criticism: Romance Languages

Women's Studies

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“In this erudite and insightful work, Sharon Nell assembles and expertly translates passages from Madeleine de Scudéry’s corpus, illuminating the foundational story of Lucretia, a Roman matron who turns her rape by Sextus Tarquinius into an act of supreme heroism through her suicide, which ultimately causes the downfall of the Roman monarchy. Scudéry’s version of this story poetically intertwines two of the main cultural preoccupations of mid-seventeenth-century France concerning women: female heroism and salon life, including the notion of tender friendship. Nell exposes the centrality of the Lucretia story which sparked debates about female glory and virtue originating in antiquity and continuing unabated through the seventeenth century, demonstrating that era’s intense preoccupation with the proper role of women.”

Aurora Wolfgang, Professor of French, Michigan State University

Table of Contents




The Other Voice
About This Volume
Queen of Tender: The Life and Times of Madeleine de Scudéry
Scudéry’s Legacy and the Afterlife of the Texts in This Volume
Note on the Translation

Glory and Woman before Clélie: Lucrece and Cloelia in the Femmes Illustres (1642)
Lucrece to Colatin
Cloelia to Porsenna

The Language of Tender in Clélie, Part 1, Book 1 (1654)
Conversation on the Power of Inclination
Conversation on the Birth of Love
The Map of the Land of Tender

Lucrece and Brutus in Clélie: Glory in the Land of Tender
Collatin Takes His Comrades to Visit Lucrece at Collatia, from Clélie, Part 1, Book 3 (1654)
“Story of Lucius Junius Brutus,” from Clélie, Part 2, Book 1 (1655)
Lucrece’s Suicide and Brutus’s Speech, from Clélie, Part 2, Book 3 (1655)
Lucrece Appears to Brutus in a Dream, from Clélie, Part 3, Book 3 (1657)
Lucrece Appears to Clelie in a Dream, from Clélie, Part 5, Book 2 (1660)

Scudéry on Glory after Clélie
Discourse on Glory (1671)

Appendix A: Lucrece and Brutus: Sources from Livy to Augustine and Seventeenth-Century France

Appendix B: Glossary

Appendix C: List of Characters



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