First Advisor

Gina Greco

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in French






Mme de Grafigny (Françoise d'Issembourg d'Happoncourt) 1695-1758. Lettres d'une Péruvienne, Utopias in literature, Feminism in literature



Physical Description

1 online resource (100 p.)


This thesis examines Francoise de Graffigny's eighteenthcentury novel, Lettres d'une Peruvienne. focusing on the aspects that demonstrate its consideration as a utopian work, or moreover, as a feminist utopian work. The first chapter is developed from the premise about utopian fiction that the author's life must be considered since it is out of his or her "lived social experience" that utopian visions are born. Utopias, many have argued, are born out of reactions to social inequities and injustices. This chapter thus presents and analyzes, Graffigny's life especially where it shows needs for a future utopia. The second chapter explores definitions of utopias, especially feminist literary utopias, in order to build a framework for analyzing Graffigny's work. It will be shown that this novel exhibits many of the traits found in a woman's utopia as opposed to those found in a man's. The third and fourth chapters directly analyze the text, Lettres d'une Peruvienne, using the research from the previous chapters as the groundwork to draw out the utopian aspects of the novel.


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