Les Veuves créoles

Edited by Julia Prest

Critical Texts 34

Modern Humanities Research Association

11 April 2017  •  100pp

ISBN: 978-1-781882-64-1 (paperback)

Sample: Google Books  •  Access online: Books@JSTOR


Les Veuves créoles is the first play known to have been composed in Martinique. This three-act prose comedy was published anonymously in Paris in 1768 and was performed at least twice in the capital of Caribbean theatre, Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) during the colonial period. Set in colonial Martinique in the port town of Saint-Pierre, Les Veuves créoles represents an early example of créole francophone drama. Three créole widows are courted by the grasping and dishonest Fatincourt who, after six years on the island, is keen to marry in order to repay his debts and return to France. The two older widows run successful businesses – a fact that, for Fatincourt, renders them eligible despite their advanced years. The third widow is younger but is portrayed as foolish for believing herself superior to other créoles thanks to a short visit she has made to France. The older widows eventually unite in order to thwart Fatincourt, and it is metropolitan France that emerges as the principal source of wrong-doing in this lively play. Contemporary reviewers in the Parisian press were uncertain how to respond to the play’s créole slant, but acknowledged its comic and theatrical merits. It is hoped that both elements will be of interest today.

Dr Julia Prest is Reader in Early-Modern French at the University of St Andrews.


  • ‘In compiling this edition, Prest aims to reveal how the play could be ‘of considerable interest today in the context of renewed and ongoing research into the story of French colonialism and, increasingly, in colonial and créole drama’ (p. 5). This edition of Les Veuves créoles is a concise and riveting introduction to these research areas, and would in addition provide an ideal teaching tool.’ — Vanessa Lee, Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies 8.2, Autumn 2017, 26-27

For a contents listing, see this volume at JSTOR.

Bibliography entry:

Prest, Julia (ed.), Les Veuves créoles, Critical Texts, 34 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2017)

First footnote reference: 35 Les Veuves créoles, ed. by Julia Prest, Critical Texts, 34 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2017), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Prest, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Prest, Julia (ed.). 2017. Les Veuves créoles, Critical Texts, 34 (Cambridge: MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Prest 2017: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Prest 2017: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

This title is distributed on behalf of MHRA by Ingram’s. Booksellers and libraries can order direct from Ingram by setting up a free ipage® Account: click here for more.

Permanent link to this title: