Description : Mme. de Bargeton and Lucien de Rubempre had left Angouleme behind, and were traveling together upon the road to Paris. Not one of the party who made that journey alluded to it afterwards; but it may be believed that an infatuated youth who had looked forward to the delights of an elopement, must have found the continual presence of Gentil, the man-servant, and Albertine, the maid, not a little irksome on the way. Lucien, traveling post for the first time in his life, was horrified to see pretty nearly the whole sum on which he meant to live in Paris for a twelvemonth dropped along the road. Like other men who combine great intellectual powers with the charming simplicity of childhood, he openly expressed his surprise at the new and wonderful things which he saw, and thereby made a mistake. A man should study a woman very carefully before he allows her to see his thoughts and emotions as they arise in him. A woman, whose nature is large as her heart is tender, can smile upon childishness, and make allowances; but let her have ever so small a spice of vanity herself, and she cannot forgive childishness, or littleness, or vanity in her lover. Many a woman is so extravagant a worshiper that she must always see the god in her idol; but there are yet others who love a man for his sake and not for their own, and adore his failings with his greater qualities. Lucien had not guessed as yet that Mme. de Bargeton’s love was grafted on pride. He made another mistake when he failed to discern the meaning of certain smiles which flitted over Louise’s lips from time to time; and instead of keeping himself to himself, he indulged in the playfulness of the young rat emerging from his hole for the first time. The travelers were set down before daybreak at the sign of the Gaillard-Bois in the Rue de l’Echelle, both so tired out with the journey that Louise went straight to bed and slept, first bidding Lucien to engage the room immediately overhead. Lucien slept on till four o’clock in the afternoon, when he was awakened by Mme. de Bargeton’s servant, and learning the hour, made a hasty toilet and hurried downstairs. Louise was sitting in the shabby inn sitting-room. Hotel accommodation is a blot on the civilization of Paris; for with all its pretensions to elegance, the city as yet does not boast a single inn where a well-to-do traveler can find the surroundings to which he is accustomed at home. To Lucien’s just-awakened, sleep-dimmed eyes, Louise was hardly recognizable in this cheerless, sunless room, with the shabby window-curtains, the comfortless polished floor, the hideous furniture bought second-hand, or much the worse for wear.
Description : Poor, plain spinster Bette is compelled to survive on the condescending patronage of her socially superior relatives in Paris: her beautiful, saintly cousin Adeline, the philandering Baron Hulot and their daughter Hortense. Already deeply resentful of their wealth, when Bette learns that the man she is in love with plans to marry Hortense, she becomes consumed by the desire to exact her revenge and dedicates herself to the destruction of the Hulot family, plotting their ruin with patient, silent malice. Cousin Bette is a gripping tale of violent jealousy, sexual passion and treachery, and a brilliant portrayal of the grasping, bourgeois society of 1840s Paris. The culmination of the Comédie humaine, Balzac's epic chronicle of his times, it is one of his greatest triumphs as a novelist.
Description : The Provincial Lady series is guaranteed to make you laugh by its witty take on the foibles of a young upper middle-class English woman living mostly in a Devon village of the 1930s. Excerpt: "November 7th.—Plant the indoor bulbs. Just as I am in the middle of them, Lady Boxe calls. I say, untruthfully, how nice to see her, and beg her to sit down while I just finish the bulbs. Lady B. makes determined attempt to sit down in armchair where I have already placed two bulb-bowls and the bag of charcoal, is headed off just in time, and takes the sofa." (The Diary of a Provincial Lady) E. M. Delafield (1890-1943) was a prolific English author and is best known for her largely witty and autobiographical Provincial Lady Series, which took the form of a journal. TABLE OF CONTENTS: The Diary of a Provincial Lady The Provincial Lady Goes Further The Provincial Lady in America The Provincial Lady in Russia (I Visit The Soviets) The Provincial Lady in Wartime
Description : First published in 1975, this book places Elizabeth Gaskell amongst the major novelists of the nineteenth-century. It considers how she has sometimes been overlooked, or admired for very few of her works, or for reasons that are not in fact central to her art. W. A. Craik looks at Gaskell’s full-length novels with three main purposes: to analyse her development as a novelist, her achievements, and the nature of her very original work; to see what she owes to earlier novelists, what she learns from them, and how far she is an innovator; and to put her in relation to those other novelists who write on similar themes with comparable aims. This book establishes Elizabeth Gaskelll’s excellence in comparison with her peers by demonstrating how far she extended the possibilities of the novel, both in materials and techniques.
Description : Samantha Oakleigh’s brother was missing with a questionable woman—and they were accused of theft. She turned to her cousin Edward, Lord Salverton, for help. He, trying to avoid scandal which would ruin all his plans for marriage and a cabinet position, agreed to accompany her. Their search turned out to be a merry chase involving gaming hells, lightskirts, upstarts—and more. Regency Romance by Joan Smith; originally published by Fawcett Crest