Author(s): Antoine François Prévost
When the young nobleman Des Grieux lays eyes on the beautiful and charming lower-class Manon Lescaut, he immediately falls in love with her and runs away with her to Paris, incurring the wrath of his family and forfeiting his inheritance. However, he struggles to satisfy her taste for luxury, frittering away the little he has left, and his domestic bliss finally disintegrates when he finds out that Manon has taken a rich lover.
Although causing scandal when it was first published in 1731 and subsequently banned, Manon Lescaut proved very popular with eighteenth-century readers and circulated in pirated editions. The basis for Puccini's famous opera, Abb Pr vost's ground-breaking tale of passion and tragedy became hugely influential on the next generation of novelists.