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‘Always be civil to the girls. You never know whom they might marry.’ Nancy Mitford, from her introduction to The Princess de Clèves

When the young, beautiful Mademoiselle de Chartres comes to court, her primary objective is to find herself a husband. Upon her mother’s recommendation, she accepts the advances of the Prince de Clèves, a rather average sort of a man. Unfortunately, soon after the wedding she finds herself to be in love with the dashing Duc de Nemours . . .

Against a backdrop of labyrinthine court politics, the naïve Madame de Clèves’ pursuit of true love is a riveting and timelessly tragic read.