Paul & Virginie

This famous novel by the French author, Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, is forever associated with Mauritius and the mythical story of these two lovers is a masterpiece of world literature. This room exhibits various illustrated editions of the novel and several paintings inspired by the work of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre. Visitors are given the possibility to distinguish between the legend and reality through the recounting of the true story of the shipwreck of the Saint-Géran, which inspired the tragic ending of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre’s novel.

Real must-see:
The earliest editions of the novel: ‘Paul et Virginie’ was first published in Volume 4 of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre’s ‘Etudes de la Nature’ (Studies of Nature) in 1788 and was later republished in a separate volume (1789) following the huge popular success it enjoyed.

The marble statue by Prosper d’Epinay: This beautiful sculpture is a masterpiece of 19th century classicism. It depicts the passage in the book where Paul helps Virginie to cross a stream after getting lost in the forest. This magnificent statue provides a beautiful end to the visit of the museum.

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