Manon Lescaut by the Abbe Prevost was a controversial novel originally banned in France due to its scandalous content -- the passionate and unrepentant sensual relationship of a young nobleman and a beautiful courtesan. The young chevalier des Grieux renounces his riches and his noble family to be with the incomparable Manon. Together they are swept into poverty, misfortunes, and ultimately, tragedy in the New World. This love story has been immortalized in opera. And, as with other grand romances of history and literature, Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Tristan and Iseult, the passion of these young fierce lovers captures the imagination and sympathies of the reader.
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