Monsieur Beaucaire The Beautiful Lady Author:Booth Tarkington Although known chiefly for his American characters, like Penrod and Alice Adams, Booth Tarkington in "Monsieur Beaucaire" and "The Beautiful Lady" deals with foreign characters and foreign scenes. These two short novels are early works of Tarkington. Monsieur Beaucaire, first publishing in 1900, had a wide-ranging success in three forms: as fict... more »ion, as a play, and as a film. The historic setting and the French characters may have been partly inspired by two famous stories of Robert Louis Stevenson: A Lodging for the Night and The Sire de Maletroit's Door. The scenes of The Beautiful Lady are all places Tarkington visited on his first European trip.
The best people in all of Tarkington's stories, like Beaucaire in Monsieur Beaucaire and Ansoline in The Beautiful Lady, are primarily concerned with conflicts between true values and false ones, rather than with deep-seated psychological struggles. Tarkington urges an appreciation of honesty, generosity and kindness, above wealth or rank. Some critics have felt that, with the talent he possessed, he ought to have written books of greater tragic significance. Instead he describes life as he saw it, with sentiment, patience, and humor.« less