A hypnotic story of hatred, revenge and catastrophe in which Cousin Bette exacts a terrible price from the rich relations who use and humiliate her. This book portrays the world of post-Napoleonic France, where commercial greed and sexual debauchery are rampant among a demoralized ruling class. Along with his wide descriptive range and the astute understanding of society for which he is celebrated, Balzac had immense psychological penetration. All these qualities are fully evident in his story of the ferocious dissembler Cousin Bette and the dense nineteenth-century Parisian milieu in which she plots a terrible revenge on her patronizing relatives. Introduction by Michael Tilby; Translatoin by James Waring (Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
About the Author
The son of a civil servant, Honore de Balzac was born in 1799 in Tours, France. After attending boarding school in Vendome, he gravitated to Paris where he worked as a legal clerk and a hack writer, using various pseudonyms, often in collaboration with other writers. Balzac turned exclusively to fiction at the age of thirty and went on to write a large number of novels and short stories set amid turbulent nineteenth-century France. He entitled his collective works The Human Comedy. Along with Victor Hugo and Dumas pere and fils, Balzac was one of the pillars of French romantic literature. He died in 1850, shortly after his marriage to the Polish countess Evelina Hanska, his lover of eighteen years.