A witty and reflective look at a society driven by social ambition and lust for riches-in a brilliant new translation.
Eugene wants to get on in the world. So he has come to Paris, where the streets teem with chancers, criminals, and social climbers-and everyone is out for what he can get. When he finds a place to stay at a shabby boarding house, he sees the potential to make a fortune in two beautiful, aristocratic women who visit the lonely old lodger Goriot. Could they bring Eugene the status and acceptance he craves? Nothing is as it seems in Paris, however, and soon he is over his head in a world of greed and obsession.
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.
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