Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac
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Cousin Bette
By Honore de Balzac

Cousin Bette

Poor Relations Pt. 1

By (author) See other recent books by Honore de Balzac
Translated by Marion Crawford See other recent books by Marion Crawford
Format: Paperback

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Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac

Book Description

A gripping tale of violent jealousy, sexual passion and treachery, Honore de Balzac's Cousin Bette is translated from the French with an introduction by Marion Ayton Crawford in Penguin Classics. Poor, plain spinster Bette is compelled to survive on the condescending patronage of her socially superior relatives in Paris: her beautiful, saintly cousin Adeline, the philandering Baron Hulot and their daughter Hortense. Already deeply resentful of their wealth, when Bette learns that the man she is in love with plans to marry Hortense, she becomes consumed by the desire to exact her revenge and dedicates herself to the destruction of the Hulot family, plotting their ruin with patient, silent malice. The culmination of the Comedie humaine, and a brilliant portrayal of the grasping, bourgeois society of 1840s Paris, Cousin Bette is one of Balzac's greatest triumphs as a novelist. Marion Ayton Crawford's lively translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing the novel's portrayal of rapidly changing times, as the new, ambitious middle classes replaced France's old imperial ways. Honore De Balzac (1799-1850) failed at being a lawyer, publisher, printer, businessman, critic and politician before, at the age of thirty, turning his hand to writing. His life's work, La Comedie humaine, is a series of ninety novels and short stories which offer a magnificent panorama of nineteenth-century life after the French Revolution. Balzac was an influence on innumerable writers who followed him, including Marcel Proust, Emile Zola, Charles Dickens, and Edgar Allan Poe. If you enjoyed Cousin Bette, you might like Balzac's Old Goriot, also available in Penguin Classics.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780140441604
ISBN-10: 0140441603
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 20mm)
Pages: 464
Imprint: Penguin Classics
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 25-Jan-1973
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Honore de Balzac

Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac Eugenie Grandet, Paperback (November 2016)

''Me have that golden gown!'' A blameless girl and her monstrous relatives clash over love and money in Balzac's matchless portrayal of greed in a French provincial town.

Ursule Mirouet by Honore de Balzac Ursule Mirouet, Paperback (April 2015)

In 1842, eight years before his death, Balzac described Ursule Mirouet as the masterpiece of all the studies of human society that he had written. In this title, the twin themes of redemption and rebirth are illuminated by a consistently passionate rejection of both philosophic and practical materialism in favour of love.

» View all books by Honore de Balzac


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Author Biography - Honore de Balzac

Honore de Balzac was born in Tours in 1799 to a bourgeouis family. His first success with writing came with the publication of Les Chouans in 1829 which was followed by a vast collection of novels and short stories of which Cousin Bette, first published in 1847, is one of the chief novels. He died in 1850 only a few months after his marriage to the Polish countess Evelina Hanska, with whom he had conducted a romantic correspondence for 18 years. Marion Crawford translated two other titles for Penguin; Old Goriot and Eugenie Grandet before her death in 1973.

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