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Father Goriot

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By: (1799-1850)

One of Balzac's most popular works, set around 1815 during the re-ascendancy of the Bourbon kings following the defeat of Napoleon. Said to have been an inspiration to Charles Dickens and Henry James as well as others, the novel seeks to portray the realism of scenes and people. It is also a commentary upon the changing social strata and mores of the day.

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FATHER GORIOT

By Honore De Balzac

Translated by Ellen Marriage

To the great and illustrious Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, a token of admiration for his works and genius. DE BALZAC.

FATHER GORIOT

Mme. Vauquer ( nee de Conflans) is an elderly person, who for the past forty years has kept a lodging house in the Rue Nueve Sainte Genevieve, in the district that lies between the Latin Quarter and the Faubourg Saint Marcel. Her house (known in the neighborhood as the Maison Vauquer ) receives men and women, old and young, and no word has ever been breathed against her respectable establishment; but, at the same time, it must be said that as a matter of fact no young woman has been under her roof for thirty years, and that if a young man stays there for any length of time it is a sure sign that his allowance must be of the slenderest. In 1819, however, the time when this drama opens, there was an almost penniless young girl among Mme. Vauquer's boarders.

That word drama has been somewhat discredited of late; it has been overworked and twisted to strange uses in these days of dolorous literature; but it must do service again here, not because this story is dramatic in the restricted sense of the word, but because some tears may perhaps be shed intra et extra muros before it is over... Continue reading book >>


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