PUBLISHERS OF LITERARY FICTION SINCE 1983
Courage is one of most indomitable women in European literature and a feminist icon for our times.
The Life of Courage (first published in 1670), one episode from whose life Brecht used as the basis for his Mother Courage, is the female counterpart to Simplicissimus. A young girl caught up in the turmoil of the Thirty Years War, she survives, even prospers, by the use of her native cunning and sexual attraction. Completely amoral, she flits from man to man, having a succession of husbands and lovers, and ends her life with a band of gypsies.
Courage supposedly tells her story to get her own back on Simplicissimus, who treats her rather dismissively in his memoirs. Her method is to reveal the truth about herself, including the fact that she was recovering from the pox at the time of their affair, so that he will be tarred with the same brush. The result is a lively account of lechery, knavery and trickery told with disarming frankness and a complete lack of remorse.
It will appeal to anyone who likes a rollicking good yarn and a bit of knavery in their reading.