The story takes place in a mid-nineteenth-century French country chateau. Sophie de Réan is always getting into trouble. Unlike her friends Camille and Madeleine, Sophie is far from a model child – she is naughty, bad-tempered, greedy, and a liar. Her cousin Paul tries in vain to steer her onto the right path.
A well-known classic of French children’s literature, first published in 1858. Instances of Sophie’s naughtiness pile up over the course of the book almost obsessively, portraying a child crying out for love and attention. Sophie, who has much in common with her author, is one of the first badly behaved female characters in literature. While it would be a stretch to call the Comtesse de Ségur a feminist, she was one of the first women to retain full rights to her literary works and obtain financial independence from her husband. Her work has recently been reassessed in the light of Women’s Studies and Gender Studies, and it is fitting that the cover for this new edition was drawn by Pénélope Bagieu, best known for the feminist comic strip Les Culottées.
Edited by: University Library "Livres au Trésor" and the Research Centre "Pléiade" of the University of Paris 13 (France)