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Money, jealousy, and romantic intrigue make for plenty of trouble in Honore de Balzac's 1846 novel Cousin Betty. Lonely Betty has been witness to her wealthy relatives' scandalous irresponsibility for too long. Her cousin, the Baron Hulot, has allowed his thoughtless mistress to squander the family's money, while his own wife and daughter Hortense suffer in poverty. Although Betty takes pity on the two women, she only realizes their own degree of selfishness when it is too late. Behind Betty's back, Hortense becomes engaged to a trusted friend of Betty's. Outraged at her relatives' wanton disregard for other people's feelings, Betty is driven to seek revenge. She hatches a masterful plan to seize upon her family's disgraceful ways and bring about the consequences they deserve. A searing commentary on the greed and selfishness that Balzac felt was rampant in French society, Cousin Betty is sure to amuse and surprise as shockingly bad behavior is finally given its just desserts.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
Dedicated to Don Michele Angelo Cajetani, Prince of Teano.
One day, about the middle of July 1838, one of the carriages, then lately introduced to Paris cabstands, and known as _Milords_, was driving down the Rue de l'Universite, conveying a stout man of middle height in the uniform of a captain of ...
Reviewed by EDITHJWHARTON on May 4, 2009
I finished Cousin Bette over the weekend. I almost skipped my college reunion because I was close to the end and could not put it down. The story is rviting and the characters are fascinating.
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Ratings for 'Cousin Betty' by Balzac, Honoré de