Devouring De Maupassant: The Colonel’s Ideas

Title: The Colonel’s Ideas.
Date Read:18th October 2010
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: Eager to illustrate that man is truly empowered by the presence of a pretty woman, Colonel Laporte relates a tale of the time he was stranded behind enemy lines with a detachment of men, in the middle of winter.
Afterthoughts: Yet another wonderfully entertaining story from Maupassant, which is both patriotic and heavily anti-Prussian. I’ve read a good number of the Maupassant stories that are based around the 1870 War. Some are funny. Some are sad. This one however is solely a celebration of French spirit and courage; well that and a charming tribute to the fairer members of the French population. Vive la France!
Notable Quote: “But I am not the only one, certainly not; the whole French army is like me, I swear to you. From the common soldier to the general, we all start out, from the van to the rear guard, when there is a woman in the case, a pretty woman. Do you remember what Joan of Arc made us do formerly? Come. I will make a bet that if a pretty woman had taken command of the army on the eve of Sedan, when Marshal MacMahon was wounded, we should have broken through the Prussian lines, by Jove! and had a drink out of their guns.”

Rating: ★★★★☆

*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. I read some Maupassant short fiction recently, including some set during the 1870s war, and it was very good. I’ll be blogging it soon (I’m still working slowly through my holiday backlog). Devouring Maupassant eh? I’ll have to read your back entries to see the others, they look like different ones to the ones I’ve read.

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

      Glad to hear you’re a connoisseur of the French maestro, Max. Thing is I’ve not been reading him for a few months, so newer followers don’t know of this ‘secret’ passion. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the Maupassant you’ve read.
      Warmest regards