"L'Amour Magot." L'Amour Magot: Histoire Merveilleuse. Les Tisons. Et Lettres Écrites Des Campagnes Infernales. Aux dépens de la Compagnie, Londres [i.e. Amsterdam?], 1738, pp. 1-54.


Book Title

"L'Amour Magot." L'Amour Magot: Histoire Merveilleuse. Les Tisons. Et Lettres Écrites Des Campagnes Infernales. Aux dépens de la Compagnie, Londres [i.e. Amsterdam?], 1738, pp. 1-54.

City of Publication

London (fictitious imprint), possibly Amsterdam


Aux dépens de la Compagnie





Fairy Tale Title

L'Amour Magot


A beautiful and charming nymphe (designating a young lady of rank) relaxes in a grove, singing a song about being young and yearning for love, when in response she hears a voice promising to return her love. She searches for the voice, but finds no one. Intrigued, she returns often to the grove to speak with the disembodied voice, which she believes may be a lutin. The voice responds with a rhyme explaining his negative qualities (he is hideous and blamable) along with his positive ones (he is sociable and capable), which complicates the girl's sentiments.

She is burning with a secret and joyless passion, and falls ill with desire to see the object of her love. She is on the verge of death from sadness, and proclaims her need to see him in person. She feels an invisible force moving about on her bed, and opens her eyes to see a giant hideous wrinkled monkey. He had been using a magic ring, given to him by the fairy Biscaroux, that turned him invisible. She is horrified by him, and he leaves her. She goes to a magic woman (alternately called a Circé, a fée, a Sibile, a Duègne, a Matrone, and a ministre d'Hécate) to heal her sadness, and the woman utters a spell in Latin from an enchanted book, and the girl is transformed into a Guenon (a female monkey).

Meanwhile, the Magot (large male monkey, and colloquialism for an ugly or malformed man) is wandering the countryside, and prays to the god of Love, asking for a way to reunite with her, or to die. The god of Love appears one dark stormy night, and informs him of her transformation.

It is too late though, as she has been captured and sold to a woman as a pet. This governess names her Guenuche, and gives her a ribbon ornamented with pearls to wear as a necklace, and brings her to the islands of America. Guenuche becomes very ill at being taken so far away from Magot. Two years pass, and they return. Magot has been living in the forest and evading a man and his dogs with his ring of invisibility, when one day while sleeping he is taken by one of the governess's slaves. This is a happy turn of fate, as he is reunited with Guenuche. After just one night, the governess decides she is tired of the old monkey Guenuche and sells her to a sailor. Luckily, Magot, riding in the canoe of a slave returning to his master, is able to reunite with Guenuche on the boat. After a lovely time together, a massive storm hits and they find themselves on an island, where they are watched by a troupe of monkeys. The head monkey recognizes Magot as their king, and asks if he would lead them in a war against Mirmidonnet, the king of the Pygmies, who is trying to take over the island.

General Magot agrees. The war with the Pygmies is bloody, and in the end, all of the monkeys are either killed or taken captive, but just at the end of the battle Mirmidonnet takes a grenade blast that ultimately kills him. The fairy Biscaroux comes to Magot and tells him that he shall be king of the Pygmies and of Monkey Island, and turns him, and his princess Guenuche, and all the captive monkeys into Pygmies.

After a solemn coronation the king Magottin and his princess marry and briefly experience a beautiful life together, until she dies giving birth to their first child. He succumbs to grief shortly thereafter, and they are buried together with a tombstone that reads Here Lies Monkey Love (Ici gît l'Amour Magot).


From the catalog entry: Fictitious imprint. Printed in Holland. Cf. Weller. Die falschen und fingirten Druckorte. II, page 102. Possibly printed in Holland.
Several Roman and Greek Gods are present: le Dieu de Cythère (blindfolded by the ancients, suggesting the blindness of love); Cupid, Circé, Cibelle (perhaps a reference to Cybele), Hécate, Hébé (with a footnote clarifying that she is the Goddess of Youth). The storyteller mentions the story of Dido and Aeneas from Virgil's Aeneid. The magic woman the girl visits speaks a Latin spell from a book called the Eclogue Enchanteresse, perhaps another reference to Virgil. The storyteller uses the word magotter as a verb, perhaps an adapted word deriving from the Magot and his Magotte, and playfully meaning to monkey around together. The Islands of America are called an uncultured, unknown place filled with monsters. The storyteller mentions slaves in America, and slaves are brought back with the Governor and Governess. The fairy Biscaroux (perhaps another literary reference) gave Magot his magic ring. The girl considers that her lover may be a lutin (imp or hobgoblin), suggesting that invisibility, or some magic article granting invisibility, may be an aspect of the lutin in general. The happy and sad moments of the story of the lovers are attributed to the changeability of Fate. The story's humor includes the juxtaposition of low-brow and high-brow elements. Poetry, songs, rhymes, and Latin verses are interspersed in the story. There is a word chart illustrating the Magot's self-deprecating rhymes.

Page Range


Link to Digital Source

L'Amour Magot