Three Weeks (book)

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Three Weeks
Author Elinor Glyn
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Erotic romance
Publisher Gerald Duckworth
Publication date
Media type Hardcover

Three Weeks is a 1907 erotic romance novel by Elinor Glyn.


Paul Verdayne, wealthy English nobleman in his early twenties is caught embracing the parson's daughter. His parents decide to send him away to France and then Switzerland. In Switzerland, he sees a woman referred to only as "the Lady". The Lady is older, in her thirties. After several days of exchanging lustful glances, they actually meet. She invites him to her apartment where they share a sexual relationship for three weeks. Eventually, Paul learns that the Lady is actually the queen of a Russian dependency and that her husband, the king, is abusive towards her. She disappears after the titular three weeks and Paul is upset and returns to England. Paul later finds out that the Lady has given birth to their son. With his father's assistance, he finds out the Lady's identity; however, before they can meet again, she is murdered by her husband. Paul is upset and spends the next five years wandering around from country to country until he decides to make preparations to meet his son.


Critical reception was negative in the United Kingdom and USA. The book was described as disjointed, "dull and stupid", "boring, vulgar and extremely silly". Critics also made personal attacks on Glyn saying she was complacent, her writing immature, and she was "indifferent to her own reputation".[1][2][3][4][5][6]

When the novel was published in the USA by Duffield & Co., it was quite popular, 50,000 copies were sold in the first three weeks. After that, it sold on average about 2,000 copies per day for the next three months.[7] The book's subject matter made it a specific target of the Boston-based Watch and Ward Society's anti-vice campaigns.


Three Weeks was made into a motion picture in 1914, directed by Perry N. Vekroff and starring Madlaine Traverse and George C. Pearce.[8] It was adapted again in the 1924 version, directed by Alan Crosland and starring Conrad Nagel and Aileen Pringle.


  1. ^ Academy, June 29, 1907.
  2. ^ Athenaeum, June 22, 1907.
  3. ^ Literary Digest, October 26, 1907.
  4. ^ Nation, October 10, 1907.
  5. ^ "Prurient and Worse Yet---Dull", New York Times, September 28, 1907. (PDF)
  6. ^ Saturday Review, June 15, 1907.
  7. ^ Dawn B. Sova. Banned Books: Literature Suppressed on Sexual Grounds, Facts on File Inc., 1998. 193
  8. ^ Three Weeks at the Internet Movie Database

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