Raymond Radiguet wrote the highly scandalous Devil in the Flesh between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, following his own love affair with a married woman. At the time, in post WWI France, the book created a stir comparable to that of Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Francois, the adolescent narrator, meets Marthe in Paris at the start of the First World War when her husband is away at the Front. They fall in love with each other. Their passion leads to a tragic climax four years later when Marthe passes off their love child as her husband’s legitimate child even though everyone knows the truth. The themes of freedom, family and passion against a background of war and honour in The Devil in the Flesh created a scandal at the time of publication, which was also the year of the author’s death.