Three Weeks (book)

Last updated
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.

Elinor Glyn British novelist and scriptwriter

Elinor Glyn was a British novelist and scriptwriter who specialised in romantic fiction, which was considered scandalous for its time, although her works are relatively tame by modern standards. She popularized the concept of the It-girl, and had tremendous influence on early 20th-century popular culture and, possibly, on the careers of notable Hollywood stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson and, especially, Clara Bow.



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 the Lady is actually the queen of a Russian dependency and her husband, the king, is abusive towards her. She disappears after the titular three weeks; Paul is upset and returns to England. Paul later discovers 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.

In the pre-Reformation church, a parson is the priest of an independent parish church, that is, a parish church not under the control of a larger ecclesiastical or monastic organization. The term is similar to rector and is in contrast to a vicar, a cleric whose revenue is usually, at least partially, appropriated by a larger organization. Today the term is normally used for some parish clergy of non-Roman Catholic churches, in particular in the Anglican tradition in which a parson is the incumbent of a parochial benefice: a parish priest or a rector; in this sense a parson can be compared with a vicar. The title parson can be applied to clergy from certain other Protestant denominations. A parson is often housed in a church-owned home known as a parsonage.


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, selling 50,000 copies 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.

Boston Capital city of Massachusetts, United States

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States.

Watch and Ward Society organization

The New England Watch and Ward Society was a Boston, Massachusetts, organization involved in the censorship of books and the performing arts from the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th century. After the 1920s, its emphasis changed to combating the spread of gambling. In 1957 the organization's name was changed to the New England Citizens Crime Commission, and in 1967 it became the Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction. In 1975 it was merged with another organization to form Community Resources for Justice, a group that promotes prison reform and rights for ex-convicts.


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

Perry N. Vekroff Film director, screenwriter, actor

Perry N. Vekroff was an American film director, screenwriter and actor of the silent era. He directed 19 films between 1914 and 1922, including two film serials for the Universal Film Manufacturing Company and one for Pathé. He was born in Shumen, Bulgaria and died in Hollywood, California.

Madlaine Traverse American actress

Madlaine Traverse was an American stage and screen actress from Cleveland, Ohio. In the course of her career she is alternately billed as "Madaline Traverse", "Madeline Traverse" and "Madeline Travers".

<i>Three Weeks</i> (film) 1924 film by Alan Crosland

Three Weeks is a 1924 American drama film directed by Alan Crosland. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Elinor Glyn. Formerly a lost film, FIAF database indicates a print is preserved by Russia's Gosfilmofond.

Doggerel is poetry that is irregular in rhythm and in rhyme, often deliberately for burlesque or comic effect. Alternatively, it can mean verse which has a monotonous rhythm, easy rhyme, and cheap or trivial meaning. The word is derived from the Middle English dogerel, probably a derivative of dog. In English it has been used as an adjective since the 14th century and a noun since at least 1630.

Would you like to sin
With Elinor Glyn
On a tiger skin?
Or would you prefer
To err with her
On some other fur?
* In the 1930 Disney short The Shindig, Clarabelle Cow is reading the novel and quickly hides it when Horace Horsecollar shows up for their date.

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  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
  9. Perelman, S. J. (1949), Listen to the Mocking Bird, pp. 70–78, London: Reinhardt and Evans Listen to the Mocking Bird in libraries ( WorldCat catalog).