I just finished the Princess of Cleves, which was one of those 1,001 Books to Read Before You Die. I picked it because it is supposed to be the first European Novel, published in 1678, and it was available on DailyLit.
While I’m sure that back in 1678, this was a welcome and popular read, I can’t say that it’s held up to the test of time. The writing isn’t particularly brilliant and the plot of court intrigued and doomed love among nobles was tedious.
Perhaps important to read if you were studying the history of the Novel, but simply as a book to enjoy, there is nothing to recommend it.