Raymond Radiguet wrote the highly scandalous Devil in the Flesh between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, following his own love affair with a married woman. At the time, in post WWI France, the book created a stir comparable to that of Lady Chatterley's Lover Francois, the adolescent narrator, meets Marthe in Paris at the start of the First World War when her husband is away at the Front. They fall in love with each other. Their passion leads to a tragic climax four years later when Marthe passes off their love child as her husband's legitimate child even though everyone knows the truth. The themes of freedom, family and passion against a background of war and honour in The Devil in the Flesh created a scandal at the time of publication, which was also the year of the author's death.
Raymond Radiguet was born in 1903 and died tragically young in 1923 of typhoid fever, having written only two short but celebrated novels and a volume of poetry. Radiguet entered Parisian literary circles upon leaving school, becoming the protege of Jean Cocteau. His only other novel is Count d'Orgel, also available from Pushkin Press, first published posthumously by Cocteau whose afterword appears in the Pushkin Press edition.