The Fearless Heart


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By Georges Bernanos

On July 17, 1794, a group of Carmelite sisters stand at the foot of the scaf­fold in the Place de la Révolution. Convicted of the capital crime of being fanatics—anti-revolutionary, anti-libertarian fanatics—they have been con­demned to death and now confront the final, fearful steps to martyrdom. Before this ultimate moment, their community has been sifted like wheat: the youngest among them, the aristocratic Blanche de la Force, afraid equally of life and of death, has run away. Now, in this final, fatal hour, the sisters pray that their faith not may fail, and that the anguish of fear might submit to the love that is as strong as death. 

Fear is also God’s daughter, redeemed on the night of Holy Friday.… She is man’s intercessor.” (Georges Bernanos)

The Fearless Heart, an English translation by Michael Legat of Dialogues des Carmélites (originally published in 1950), was intended by Bernanos for film adaptation, the scenario of which had been prepared by the French Dom­inican priest Raymond Bruckberger. In its eventual movie form (1960), the complexity, beauty, and vitality of Bernanos’s work is tangible; still more impressive, however, is the power of text in its own right to communicate just as powerfully those same characteristics.

Georges Bernanos (1888–1948) was a French author and critic, and winner of the Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie française in 1936 (for his novel A Diary of a Country Priest). A devout Roman Catholic, Bernanos wrote numerous novels, stories, and essays on the nature of faith, society, and suffering.

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Paperback: 190pp.

ISBN: 978-1685953041