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Old Man Goriot
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|March 29, 2011

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Monsieur Goriot is one of a disparate group of lodgers at Mademe Vauquer's dingy Parisian boarding house. At first his wealth inspires respect, but as his circumstances are mysteriously reduced he becomes shunned by those around him, and soon his only remaining…
Penguin Classics Ursule Mirouet
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|June 30, 2015

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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; he regarded the book as 'a remarkable tour de force '. An essentially simple tale about the struggle and triumph…
Lost Illusions
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|November 13, 2001

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"Balzac [was] the master unequalled in the art of painting humanity as it exists in modern society," wrote George Sand. "He searched and dared everything." Written between 1837 and 1843, Lost Illusions reveals, perhaps better than any other of…
A Harlot High And Low
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|December 30, 1970

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Finance, fashionable society, and the intrigues of the underworld and the police system form the heart of this powerful novel, which introduces the satanic genius Vautrin, one of the greatest villains in world literature. For more than seventy years, Penguin has…
The Wrong Side of Paris
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|April 12, 2005

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The Wrong Side of Paris, the final novel in Balzac’s The Human Comedy, is the compelling story of Godefroid, an abject failure at thirty, who seeks refuge from materialism by moving into a monastery-like lodging house in the shadows of Notre-Dame. Presided…
Eugenie Grandet
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|July 25, 2009

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'Who is going to marry Eugenie Grandet?' This is the question that fills the minds of the inhabitants of Saumur, the setting for Eugenie Grandet (1833), one of the the earliest and most famous novels in Balzac's Comedie humaine. The Grandet household,…
The Memoirs Of Two Young Wives
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|January 9, 2018

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Two very intelligent, very idealistic young women leave the convent school where they became the fastest of friends to return to their families and embark on their new lives. For Renée de Maucombe, this means an arranged marriage with a country gentleman…
The Black Sheep
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|August 26, 1976

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His elegantly-crafted tale of sibling rivalry, Honoré de Balzac's The Black Sheep is translated from the French with an introduction by Donald Adamson in Penguin Classics. Philippe and Joseph Bridau are two extremely different brothers. The elder,…
The Human Comedy: Selected Stories
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|January 21, 2014

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An NYRB Classics Original Characters from every corner of society and all walks of life—lords and ladies, businessmen and military men, poor clerks,  unforgiving moneylenders, aspiring politicians, artists, actresses, swindlers, misers, parasites,…
Selected Short Stories
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|May 26, 1977

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One of the greatest French novelists, Balzac was also an accomplished writer of shorter fiction. This volume includes twelve of his finest short stories - many of which feature characters from his epic series of novels the Comédie Humaine . Compelling…
Pere Goriot
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|February 26, 2009

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This is the tragic story of a father whose obsessive love for his two daughters leads to his financial and personal ruin. It is set against the background of a whole society driven by social ambition and lust for money. The detailed descriptions of both affluence…
Lost Illusions
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|January 12, 2011

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This novel consists of three parts, starting in the provinces (Angouleme), later moving to Paris, and finally returning to provincial France. The story is mainly about poor Lucien, a writer who lives in Angouleme.
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