Paternal Perspectives on Divorce in Alphonse Daudet's Rose et Ninette (1892)


This short novel represents Alphonse Daudet's general reflection on family life since the advent of the Loi Naquet of 1884 which reinstated the possibility of divorce, and his particular warning to his son, Léon, whose stormy marriage to Jeanne Hugo was indeed to end in divorce by January 1895. A cautionary tale exposes the paternal alienation experienced by Régis de Fagan in the wake of his staged flagrant délit and subsequent divorce from not only his wife but consequently his beloved children, Rose and Ninette.This alienation is encoded in the intertextual references to Verdi's Hugolian opera, Rigoletto, and a proposal to rewrite Balzac's novel as Le Divorce du père Goriot. Régis is thus caught between models of excessive intervention and subservience on the part of fathers. (NW)

White, Nicholas.
Release Year:
Project MUSE: 
2001-2002 Fall-Winter; 30(1-2): 131-47.