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Quickly reprinted several times in French the novel was translated into English by Frances Brooke as Letters from Juliet Lady Catesby to her friend, Lady Henrietta Campley the following year. Set in England, the story is told through letters exchanged between Juliette and her cousin Henriette, and recounts the inexplicable abandonment of Juliette by her fiancé Lord Ossery on the eve of their wedding. Through a series of twists and subplots the reasons are revealed and the two lovers are eventually reconciled. A quintessential novel of sentiment, it is frequently compared favourably with Frances Burney’s Evelina and it played a major part in the vigorous literary exchange between French and English novelists of the eighteenth century.
Madame Riccoboni, née Laboras de Mézières, had acted with the Comédie Italienne prior to beginning her writing career with an extension and imitation of Marivaux’s Vie de Marianne (1751), followed by her first novel Lettres de Mistriss Fanni Butlerd (1756). In addition to her several novels, she made translations of English novels, including Fieldings Amelia, published in 1762. She was well regarded by Voltaire and was part of the circle attending the salons of the Baron d’Holbach, where she became acquainted with Diderot, David Garrick and David Hume. In The Theory of Moral Sentiments (also published in 1759), Adam Smith ranked her with Voltaire, Racine, Richardson, and Marivaux as ‘one of the poets and romance writers who best paint the refinements of… private and domestic affections.’ see full details...