Title: Rosalie Prudent
Date Read: 10th May 2010
Available Online?: YES (although read for this review was the David Coward translation of the story in A Day in the Country and Other Stories (Oxford University Press)).
Briefly: Poor unmarried maid Rosalie is front of judge and jury charged with the heinous crime of infanticide. There’s no doubt that she has committed murder but the circumstances surrounding the crime just don’t add up.
Afterthoughts: This is one of the shortest short stories I’ve read from Maupassant but it’s also one of the most powerful. Despair and pity reign supreme in this tale; as any tale of infanticide probably would, However, Maupassant has this incredible ability of being able to pull even harder on the reader’s heart strings, and he demonstrates that skill to its full potential in this story. Sob! Sob! If you’re looking for a similar example then check out A Farm Girl’s Story or The Piece of String.
Notable Quote: The president tried for the last time to make her speak, to get some confession, and, having urged her with much gentleness, he finally made her understand that all these men gathered here to pass judgment upon her were not anxious for her death and might even have pity on her.
*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.