Les Femmes Savantes (The Learned Women)
Les Femmes Savantes (The Learned Women) ended the war begun by Les Précieuses Ridicules (The Pretentious Young Ladies), against intellectual snobbishness, bad taste, and affectation of all sorts.
Between these two plays, separated by an interval of less than twelve years and a half, lies the whole career of Molière, and in the contrast between them, nearly alike as are the subjects treated, lies the range of Molière's great and rapid development as a comic dramatist and as a critic of life.
It premiered at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal on March 11 1672.
About the Author
Molière (stage name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) (January 15, 1622 – February 17, 1673) was a French playwright and actor and was one of the greatest masters of comedy in literature. His best-known works include Le Misanthrope (The Misanthrope) (1666), L'École des femmes (The School for Wives) (1662), Tartuffe ou L'Imposteur, (Tartuffe or the Hypocrite) (1664), L'Avare (The Miser) (1668), Le Malade imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid) (1673), Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (The Bourgeois Gentleman) (1670), and Les Femmes savantes (The Learned Ladies) of 1672.
He was born in Paris. At age 21, he decided to pursue his inclination and joined a theater company. In his 14 years in Paris, Molière wrote 31 plays performed by his company. Molière is considered the creator of modern French comedy. Not only many words or phrases used in Molière's plays are still used in current French, but parts of dialogues have been imprinted into French people’s memory.
Molière died in 1673, at the age of 51.
About the Bilingual Edition
Project Bilingual (A division of Wolf Pup Books) is a continuing project making available great original French writers' texts along with their English translation. This edition, which offers after every original language paragraph its translation, makes both grammar and vocabulary checks as painless as possible. Idiomatic forms that could be overlooked can be easily detected.
Furthermore, large paragraphs have been broken down to much smaller units so that the check is as effortless as possible. We do hope that by reading French writers that defined the language itself or whose work permeated the French culture, you will be able to get the maximum benefit from this language series. Although this edition is not a replacement for traditional methods of learning language, it is a very powerful tool to speed up the process once you have attained the intermediate level and beyond.
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