Cousin Bette (1846) is a novel by French author Honoré de Balzac. Part of Balzac’s La Comédie humaine sequence, the novel is recognized as being the author’s last fully-realized work, and features several characters who appear elsewhere throughout his legendary series. It has inspired several film and television adaptations, as well as earned comparisons to Shakespeare’s Othello and Tolstoy’s War and Peace.
The novel focuses on the life and exploits of Bette Fischer, a 42-year-old woman whose bitterness at remaining unmarried—despite several proposals by men she deemed unworthy—drives her to ruin the reputations and lives of her extended family. After rescuing the young sculptor Wenceslas Steinbock from suicide, Bette develops a complex affection for the man. When he falls in love with Hortense, the daughter of Bette’s cousin Adeline, she hatches a plan to gain revenge for this perceived personal slight. She recruits the young and beautiful Valérie Marneffe—an unhappily married woman—to seduce Adeline’s husband, Baron Hector Hulot, whose uncontrolled desires and extensive vanity both test his family’s loyalty and stretch their finances to the furthest possible limit. Cousin Bette is an intense psychological drama and character study that burns with the fire of Balzac’s critique of French society. While exposing the depths of human immorality—particularly where money is made the center of personal relationships—Balzac manages to remind us that what makes us human is not what drives us apart, but the lengths to which we will go to cultivate love despite our basest impulses.
To read Cousin Bette is to observe the hopes, flaws, and desires of the people of nineteenth century France, but to ultimately judge ourselves. This final masterpiece of Honoré de Balzac is a testament to the skill and dedication of one of history’s finest literary minds.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Honoré de Balzac’s Cousin Bette is a classic of French literature reimagined for modern readers.
"As always, wry, beadyeyed, acute." -Margaret Atwood, via Twitter
From the bestselling, award-winning author of Flora and Evensong comes the story of two remarkable women and the complex friendship between them that spans decades.
When the dean of Lovegood Junior College for Girls decides to pair Feron Hood with Merry Jellicoe as roommates in 1958, she has no way of knowing the far-reaching consequences of the match. Feron, who has narrowly escaped from a dark past, instantly takes to Merry and her composed personality. Surrounded by the traditions and four-story Doric columns of Lovegood, the girls--and their friendship--begin to thrive. But underneath their fierce friendship is a stronger, stranger bond, one comprised of secrets, rivalry, and influence--with neither of them able to predict that Merry is about to lose everything she grew up taking for granted, and that their time together will be cut short.
Ten years later, Feron and Merry haven't spoken since college. Life has led them into vastly different worlds. But, as Feron says, once someone is inside your “reference aura,” she stays there forever. And when each woman finds herself in need of the other's essence, that spark--that remarkable affinity, unbroken by time--between them is reignited, and their lives begin to shift as a result.
Luminous and masterfully crafted, Old Lovegood Girls is the story of a powerful friendship between talented writers, two college friends who have formed a bond that takes them through decades of a fast-changing world, finding and losing and finding again the one friendship that defines them.
Dorothy Richardson is existing just above the poverty line, doing secretarial work at a dentist's office and living in a seedy boarding house in Bloomsbury, when she is invited to spend the weekend with a childhood friend, Jane.
Jane has recently married a writer who is on the brink of fame. His name is H.G. Wells, or Bertie, as they call him. Bertie appears unremarkable at first. But then Dorothy notices his grey-blue eyes taking her in, openly signalling approval. He tells her he and Jane have an agreement which allows them the freedom to take lovers, although Dorothy can tell her friend would not be happy with that arrangement.
Not wanting to betray Jane, yet unable to draw back Dorothy free-falls into an affair with Bertie. Then a new boarder arrives at the house- beautiful Veronica Leslie-Jones-and Dorothy finds herself caught between Veronica and Bertie. Amidst the personal dramas and wreckage of a militant suffragette march, Dorothy finds her voice as a writer.
“Pellucidar“ is a novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, an American fiction writer, who created such great characters as Tarzan and John Carter of Mars.
Pellucidar is a fantasy novel, the second in his series about the fictional "hollow earth" land of Pellucidar.
The stories initially involve the adventures of mining heir David Innes and his inventor friend Abner Perry after they use an "iron mole" to burrow 500 miles into the Earth's crust. Later protagonists include indigenous caveman Tanar and additional visitors from the surface world, notably Tarzan, Jason Gridley, and Frederich Wilhelm Eric von Mendeldorf und von Horst.
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