Florine and Boca
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FLORINE AND BOCA: TALES OF FAERIE
by Françoise Le Marchand
adapted by Brian Stableford
cover by Mike Hoffman
Mauritianne was not one of those fays who protect virtue, but one of those who are ambitious and vindictive, and make use of everything to arrive at the objective of their evil designs. It was by that means that she had risen to the rank of princess and regent of the fays.
Françoise le Marchand deserves to be reckoned a significant, if slightly shadowy, figure in the revival of contes de fées in 1730s and 1740s France.
It is not obvious why either of the two novellas translated here, Florine (1713) and Boca (1735) had to be published illicitly, but it undoubtedly reflects the fact that the genre was effectively under a royal ban in the aftermath of the scandal that had caused Louis XIV to break up the coterie of female writers who pioneered it. Le Marchand could not have been unaware of the fact that the scandal involved allegations of lesbianism, and the two works presented here contain odd features, which might not be unconnected with that context.
While a little eccentric in their construction, both works stand out for their imaginative imagery.
Boca; or, Virtue Recompensed (1735)
The Story of Princess Abdelazis