The House of Tellier

The House of Tellier

by Guy de Maupassant
Publication Date: 28/03/2019

" The House of Tellier " is a brothel named after the boss, Mrs. Tellier, located in the province of Fécamp. On a Saturday evening, as usual, customers of the "café-bordel", mainly workers, French and English sailors, but also the city's bourgeoisie, gather in front of the brothel, but in front of an equally closed door. After fighting for futile reasons revealing their frustration and bitterness due to the disappointment of not being able to enjoy the girls of joy on this weekend, they left in disarray. However, one of them, who had toured the building, discovered the reason for this closure: we did not receive "because of first communion". From then on, a parallel is drawn and will continue throughout the story between prostitution and religion.

The manager, Mrs. Tellier, took her employees, of whom she is very close, to her niece Constance's first communion. This is followed by a rather agitated train journey for the boss and her troop of prostitutes, even if their appearance makes them look like nuns. Indeed, a traveling clerk will say with respect "that these ladies change monasteries". Prostitution was mainly an urban activity, and none of the people they meet from the rural world suspect their true condition.

Publication Date:
Guy Deloeuvre
Guy de Maupassant

Guy de Maupassant was born in Normandy in 1850. In addition to his six novels, which include Bel-Ami (1885) and Pierre et Jean (1888), he wrote hundreds of short stories, the most famous of which is 'Boule de suif'.

By the late 1870s, he began to develop the first signs of syphilis, and in 1891 he was committed to an asylum in Paris, having tried to commit suicide. He died there two years later.

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