This classic work of social satire, carnal desire, greed, and obsession is both an exquisitely drawn portrayal of private life and an extraordinary document of post-revolutionary France.
Many people (among them Henry James) have considered Honore de Balzac to be the greatest of all novelists. Eugenie Grandet, his spare, classical story of a girl whose life is blighted by her father's hysterical greed, goes a long way to justifying that opinion. One of the most magnificent of his tales of early nineteenth-century French provincial life, this novel is the work of a writer on whom nothing was lost, and who represents most fully the ability of the human animal to understand and illuminate its own condition.
In a gloomy house in provincial Saumur, the miser Grandet lives with his wife and daughter, Eugenie, whose lives are stifled and overshadowed by his obsession with gold. Guarding his piles of glittering treasures and his only child equally closely, he will let no one near them. But when the arrival of her handsome cousin, Charles, awakens Eugenie's own desires, her passion brings her into a violent collision with her father that results in tragedy for all.
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by Alexis de Tocqueville
by Honore de Balzac
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