Confession of a Child of the Century, now a major new film starring Pete Doherty (frontman of The Libertines, Babyshambles), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Melancholia), and Lily Cole (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), is Alfred de Musset's classic French novel of infidelity and decadence. This Penguin Classics edition, from award-winning translator David Coward, is the first new English version of Musset's novel in a hundred years.
The Napoleonic Wars are over. Octave (Pete Doherty), a young Parisian, loves his mistress Elise (Lily Cole) - until he witnesses her being unfaithful. In despair, he descends into decadence and libertinism. However, the death of his father takes Octave to the countryside where he falls in love with Brigitte (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a young widow who spends most of her days caring for others. At first, Brigitte tries to resist his advances, but eventually they become lovers. Octave, however, is quickly overcome by suspicion. Will Brigitte remain true to him? Doesn't every woman betray her lover sooner or later?
Sylvie Verheyde's production of Confession of a Child of the Century, screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival, brings to life the all the debauchery, despair and passionate love of de Musset's classic novel.
Alfred de Musset (1810-57) was born in Paris. He attempted careers in medicine, law and drawing before publishing his first collection of poems, Contes d'Espagne et d'Italie (1829). He subsequently wrote numerous plays, and the erotic novel Gamiani, or Two Nights of Excess (1833) is sometimes attributed to him. From 1833 to 1835, he had an affair with the novelist George Sand, which became the basis for his most famous novel La Confession d'un Enfant du Siecle (1836). Sand herself also fictionalized the affair in her novel Elle et lui.