‘Madame de Luzy’ by Anatole France

Madame de Luzy by Anatole France, 1892

The magic trick:

Double layering the plot twists

You’re getting a little bit of everything here in a four pages.

We’ve got historical fiction. We’ve got romance. We’ve got stakes and suspense. And even a hint of madcap comedy.

It’s a rush.

And that’s quite a trick on France’s part.

The selection:

“Well, well, let them come up,” replied Madame de Luzy through the door. “Let them go all over the house, from cellar to garret.”

As he listened to this dialogue, the wretched Planchonnet fainted behind the screen, and I had a good deal of trouble in resuscitating him by sprinkling water on his temples. When I had succeeded –

“My friend,” the young woman whispered to her old neighbor, “trust in me. Remember that women are resourceful.”

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