Guy de Maupassant Short Stories

These Guy de Maupassant short stories are arranged in alphabetical order of the first word of the title, excluding “The”. An approximate word count is included, as well as a link for reading, if possible.

Guy de Maupassant Short Stories

A Dead Woman’s Secret | 1,400 words

A dead woman’s adult children, a judge and a nun, sit vigil and read her old letters which reveal a secret from her past.

Read “A Dead Woman’s Secret”

A Piece of String | 2,340 words

A man is walking to the market one day when he stops to pick up a piece of string. Soon after, it is reported that a wallet with 500 francs was lost. His act of picking up something makes him a suspect. He vehemently denies any guilt.

Read “A Piece of String”

A Sale | 2,100 words 

Brument and Cornu are in court, accused of the attempted murder by drowning of Brument’s wife. They were both intoxicated during the time in question. They explain their intentions to the judge.

The plot doesn’t indicate it, but this is a lighthearted story.

Read “A Sale”

Bellflower | 1,800 words

A narrator gives us a recollection of the life of Mother Bellflower, an old seamstress with a bad leg and a mysterious past.

Read “Bellflower”

Boule de Suif | 14,450 words

The Prussian army advances while the French army retreats. Ten passengers are given clearance to board a carriage and leave the city, with the possibility of crossing into England. Among the passengers is Boule de Suif, a prostitute who has to make a moral decision that will affect the whole group.

Read “Boule de Suif”

The Christening | 1,650 words

A doctor recounts the christening custom of his god-son’s people, where the baby is left exposed to the cold.

Read “The Christening”

Coco | 1,460 words

A young farmhand beats and starves a nag in his care.

Read “Coco”

The Confession | 1,820 words

A woman makes a death-bed confession to her older sister about something that happened over 40 years ago.

The Dowry | 1,800 words

Simon and Jeanne are newly married. Simon plans to use Jeanne’s large dowry to buy a legal practice. They take a trip to Paris to enjoy each others company and to make the purchase.

Read “The Dowry”

Fear | 2,250 words

A ship’s captain tells some passengers about a time he felt afraid. One of the men objects, saying the captain doesn’t know what real fear is. He tells his own story to illustrate his point.

The Hand | 2,060 words

A judge relates an inexplicable incident from his past. An Englishman moved to a villa in France with a servant. Rumors spread about the man, so the judge found a way to get to know him. One evening the man shows the judge into his parlor, which contains an interesting item.

Read “The Hand”

The Jewels (The False Gems) | 2,260 words

Monsieur Lantin is a government clerk. He and his wife are very happy. He is amazed by his wife’s ability to handle their finances. Madame Lantin has two vices: she loves going to the theater and she loves jewelry—she comes home nearly every night with a new piece of costume jewelry.

Read “The Jewels”

The Kiss | 1,350 words

A woman is upset when her husband leaves. Her aunt thinks she kissed her husband too much, so she explains the power of and proper use of the kiss.

Read “The Kiss”

Madame Tellier’s Establishment (La Maison Tellier) | 9,100 words

Madame Tellier runs a brothel in the town of Fecamp. It’s divided into two levels, the ground floor for sailors and rougher types, and the upper level for more refined customers. One evening in late May, some regulars arrive only to find it closed. Madame Tellier has been invited to the confirmation of her niece.

Read “Madame Tellier’s Establishment”

Mother Sauvage | 2,560 words

The narrator’s old acquaintance tells him the story of Mother Sauvage. Her son went to war fighting the Prussians. Meanwhile, Prussian forces occupy her home territory, and she has four soldiers assigned to live in her home. Both sides understand the situation, and she treats them well. When she gets news of her son’s death her attitude towards them changes.

Read “Mother Sauvage”

The Necklace | 2,840 words

Mathilde borrows a necklace from a rich friend to wear to a party, but she loses it.

Read “The Necklace”

Regret | 2,120 words

A sixty-two year old bachelor thinks about his lonely life, and of a woman that he has always loved.

Read “Regret”

Rust | 2,625 words

Hector is in his fifties and has loved hunting all his life. He regularly visits his neighbors, the Courvilles, telling them stories of his quarry. When he gets sick, his routine is interrupted, prompting the Courvilles to come up with a way of improving his life.

Read “Rust”

Two Friends | 2,200 words

Two men, now members of the Paris National Guard because of an attack by Prussian soldiers, meet up with each other in the street. They reminisce about the fishing they did before the war, and decide to try and go back to their fishing spot, even though it’s in no man’s land.

Read “Two Friends”

Two Little Soldiers | 2,050 words

Two soldiers take a weekly Sunday rest and meal at a little spot in the country. They become acquainted with a milk maid who passes by.

Read “Two Little Soldiers”

The Vendetta | 1,620 words

A widow’s son is murdered by a man who then flees to Sardinia. The boy’s mother vows to take revenge against her son’s killer.

Read “The Vendetta”

I’ll keep adding Guy de Maupassant short stories as I find more.