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The Complete Claudine: Claudine at School/Claudine in Paris/Claudine Married/Claudine and Annie [Paperback]

Colette , Judith Thurman , Antonia White
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 866 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux; 2 edition (Oct 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374528039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374528034
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.7 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 344,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The Complete Claudine Colette, prodded by her first husband, Willy, began her writing career with Claudine at School, which catapulted the young author into instant, sensational success. Among the most autobiographical of Colette's works, these four novels are dominated by the child-woman Claudine, whose strength, humor, and zest for living make her seem almost a symbol for the life force. Janet Flanner described these... Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight 28 Nov 2001
Format:Paperback
I came across these novels in my early teens as an excellent BBC television drama, and was very moved by them. I have since read the text, and to this day I find they are emotive, intelligent, descriptive and have creative power and suggestion. It is a shame that these pieces of work are not celebrated nor recognised for their insight into the 'female condition'. They are a portrait of their time, a reflection on the developing consciousness of feminine politics and still (I believe) have relevance for modern women today, who wish to explore context, history and sensibility. From a spiritual perspective they question and explore further issues that we are still working through and questioning.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Victorian era rebellious coming of age story. 19 Aug 2005
By Reader
Format:Paperback
I came across this collection by mistake, just recently. I was shocked that I had not read or even heard of it before. "The Complete Claudine" consists of four books. The first, "Claudine at School" was the first of Colette's novels and was an immediate success when released between 1900 and 1907. It is followed by "Claudine in Paris", "Claudine Married", and "Claudine and Annie". The books are semi-autobiographical and depict the life of a young girl (Claudine) through to adulthood. The first book shapes Claudine into a daring and sometimes naughty, sometimes mean, girl. A perfect start to a character that, as a reader, you grow to love for her sheer audacity. If you put the book/s in to the context of the period (early 20th Century ) they really are shocking. As Mme Claudine mixes with the Parisian socialites of the period, she so shamelessly shuns the dictates of social propriety that she manages to gain the attentions of both men and women, effortlessly - she is merely being herself. By the end of this book, if you haven't fallen in love with Claudine and her little Fanchette, or, laughed out loud at the scenes at Arriege (a health spa), I'd be surprised. I thought this collection was great and will definitely make an effort to read some of Colette's other works.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite stories of a woman's coming of age 29 July 2006
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I first read the Claudine novels when I was at school and so was delighted the find them re-issued and in one volume. This is an exquisite collection and wonderfully translated. Claudine grows from a schoolgirl with her first crushes to a married woman coming to terms with her own sexuality and independence while struggling to keep her marriage to her adored and adoring husband together.

With so much trash being published, these books are a reminder of what literature should be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very French, very sensuous, bursting with life 29 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd heard of Colette without really knowing anything about her, so when I chanced across 'Claudine at School' in my local library I grabbed it. I loved it so much that I tried to find others in the series, but couldn't. Amazon came to the rescue with this edition, which combines all four Claudine stories in one volume.

Apart from the beautiful, evocative descriptions of the Burgundy countryside, and later of Parisian life, you would never guess that these books were written over a hundred years ago, such is the vibrancy of Colette's superbly sensuous prose. Right from the beginning of 'Claudine at School' I was struck by the reality of scenes: we are taken right there, to this rural French school in 1900, complete with the cheeky, flirtatious, rebellious schoolgirls, chief amongst whom is Claudine, the narrator, based on Colette herself, as these books are semi-autobiographical. All the characters come alive, but it is Colette's lively, earthy sense of humour that really captivates.

Colette is now recognized as one of France's greatest writers, and I'm surprised that she isn't better-known internationally. Very French, very sensual, and above all, bursting with life, these novels caused quite a stir when they first came out, even in France, with their strong underlying currents of sexuality and hints of lesbianism. This edition sticks with the original 1956 English translation by Antonia White, and what a fantastic job she did to retain the spirit of this highly-spirited writing.

Although these four volumes supposedly make up the 'Claudine' series, the final book 'Claudine and Annie' is quite different.
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