It’s not often I get the chance to read much at the weekend but I am determined to claw back where I should be with Scarlet and Black so here are some bullet points to take the book nearer to its conclusion and it is starting to raise the stakes around Julien’s ability to keep his head.
Bullet points between pages 334 – 400
The games between Mathilde and Julien gather pace and she allows him to seduce her but then she switches back and forth in and out of love torturing him
His jealousy gets the better of him and he declares his love for her and then after being put through yet more anguish he visits her room again at night and seems to have mastered her love
But the remorse Mathilde feels for getting involved with someone below her socially leads her to break with Julien and although it is still partly a game Julien is unable to distinguish between the truth and the game and takes it all literally
Just as it seems he is going to spend his time going backwards and forwards with Mathilde her father picks him out for an important mission
Because of his incredible memory he is trusted enough to visit a meeting of political plotters, memorise the notes and take them to the leader of the conspiracy but on his way he has to avoid spies and those looking to stop him
He delivers his message and is sent to Strasbourg to throw anyone following him off the scent and while there he meets a Russian prince he had met in London and tells him all about his love life problems
The interesting thing about the book now the pace is quickening is that although I have to confess most of the time I have little sympathy for the hero Julien it is now getting to the stage where not only has he seduced a member of the establishment and been entrusted by her father to carry out a secret mission, so the stakes are higher.
His inability to understand where people are really coming from is a result not just of his peasant upbringing and his naivety but also because in his experiences with Madame de Renal he was protected from reality by having a relationship with someone as naïve and innocent as himself. Now things are a lot more complicated…