Synopses & Reviews
Vividly bringing to life the rift between the old world and the new, Cousin Bette is an incisive study of vengeance, and the culmination of The Human Comedy.
The story of the Hulot family. Risen to eminence under Napoleon 1, their aristocratic values leave them bewildered and vulnerable in the money-ridden burgeois Paris of the 1840s. It is also the story of Bette herself, the poor relation whose patient malice finally leads to their demise.
About the Author
The son of a civil servant, Honoré de Balzac was born in 1799 in Tours, France. After attending boarding school in Vendôme, 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 père 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.