A hypnotic story of hatred, revenge and catastrophe in which Cousin Bette exacts a terrible price from the rich relations who use and humiliate her. This book portrays the world of post-Napoleonic France, where commercial greed and sexual debauchery are rampant among a demoralized ruling class.
Along with his wide descriptive range and the astute understanding of society for which he is celebrated, Balzac had immense psychological penetration. All these qualities are fully evident in his story of the ferocious dissembler Cousin Bette and the dense nineteenth-century Parisian milieu in which she plots a terrible revenge on her patronizing relatives.
Introduction by Michael Tilby; Translatoin by James Waring