Manon Lescaut is a groundbreaking novel of passion and immorality, and one of the most famous love stories of all time. The Chevalier des Grieux is still a young man, but already life and bitter experience have worn him to a shell. The kindness of a stranger persuades him to reveal his troubles, the story of his helpless and ill-starred love for Manon, and the mutually destructive affair which has given him, in turn, the joy of sexual love and the misery of betrayal and moral degradation. First published in 1731, Prevost's story proved to be hugely influential, its passionate and tragic mode inspiring a number of operas and ballets, while the compelling character of Manon prefigures a host of 19th-century Romantic heroines. Novelist and Benedictine Antoine François Prévost is one of the foremost writers of the 18th century. His works have inspired lasting admiration for their lucidity and penetrating psychology.