Part of The Art of the Novella
“We are such volatile creatures that we finally feel the sentiments we feign.”
First published in 1816, Adolphe is the story of a young man with all the privileges and advantages of a noble birth, but who is still haunted by the meaninglessness of life. He seeks distraction in the pursuit of the beautiful, older, and married Ellenore, a fictionalized version of Madame de Stael. The young Adolphe, inexperienced in love, falls for her unexpectedly and falters under the burden of the illicit love.