The early historical novel "La Princesse de Clèves," written in 1678 by French writer Madame de Lafayette is often considered the start of the psychological novel with its exploration of characters' thoughts, motivations, and the ethical debates it inspires. Heralded as remarkably faithful to historical events and figures (besides the Princesse herself), the story is set in mid-16th century France, mostly in the court of Henry II of France (based on Louis XIV). After finding an older prince of acceptable means for marriage, the sheltered 16-year-old heiress discovers a more appealing true-love interest. Although not a physical relationship, it nevertheless breaks the heart of her husband.
Molière & Co. #3