Paul and Virginia
First published in 1788, this is the classic of naive love that inspired the film "The Blue Lagoon." Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre's only ... Show synopsis First published in 1788, this is the classic of naive love that inspired the film "The Blue Lagoon." Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre's only novel is a classic of naive love. First published in 1788 to wide acclaim, it subsequently appeared in hundreds of editions throughout the world and influenced a generation of French writers, from George Sand and Lamartine to Balzac and Flaubert. In modern times it has inspired major musicals, artworks, a hit song by Celine Dion, and even a chain of luxury hotels on Mauritius. Bernardin was inspired by his friend Rousseau to tell the story of two children who grow up entirely according to nature's laws on an idyllic island free from the corrupting influence of the world. They reach adolescence and fall in love, but tragedy strikes and both die untimely deaths. A key text in the development of the novel, this is a must for anyone interested in the history of European literature.