Three Weeks (book)

Last updated
Three Weeks
Author Elinor Glyn
CountryUnited Kingdom
Genre Erotic romance
Publisher Gerald Duckworth
Publication date
Media typeHardcover

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 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.


Critical reception was negative in the United Kingdom and United States. 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 United States 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.


Three Weeks was first made into an American motion picture in 1914  [ it ], directed by Perry N. Vekroff and starring Madlaine Traverse and George C. Pearce. [8] In 1917 a Hungarian version titled Három hét was directed by Márton Garas. [9] It was adapted again in the 1924 version, made by Samuel Goldwyn, directed by Alan Crosland under the supervision of Glyn, [9] and starring Conrad Nagel and Aileen Pringle.

Would you like to sin
With Elinor Glyn
On a tiger skin?
Or would you prefer
To err with her
On some other fur? [10]

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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. 1 2 Horak, Laura (2010). ""Would You Like to Sin With Elinor Glyn?" Film As a Vehicle of Sensual Education" . Camera Obscura . Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 25 (2): 75–117. doi:10.1215/02705346-2010-003. ISSN   1529-1510 . Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  10. Glyn, Anthony (1955). Elinor Glyn: a Biography. Garden City, New York: Doubleday. p. 26.
  11. 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).