Boasting one of Western culture's oldest and richest literary traditions, French literature has long been a pioneer of style and innovation. From the farcical comedies of Moliere to the torment of Baudelaire's verse, it has inspired writers and artists everywhere throughout the ages. This comprehensive Beginner's Guide tells French literature's compelling story from the beginning right up to today. Highlighting its distinct qualities, Carol Clark explores how the literary styles of different periods took shape and shows what we can gain from reading classic and modern French works. With translations and explanations of noteworthy extracts from celebrated writers, this is the perfect introduction for anyone who wants to discover the delights French literature offers.