Cousin Bette by Honoré de Balzac
La Cousine Bette (English: Cousin Betty or Cousin Bette) is an 1846 novel by French author Honoré de Balzac. Set in mid-19th century Paris, it tells the story of an unmarried middle-aged woman who plots the destruction of her extended family. Bette works with Valérie Marneffe, an unhappily married young lady, to seduce and torment a series of men. One of these is Baron Hector Hulot, husband to Bette's cousin Adeline. He sacrifices his family's fortune and good name to please Valérie, who leaves him for a tradesman named Crevel. The book is part of the Scènes de la vie parisienne section of Balzac's novel sequence La Comédie humaine.
The 104th greatest fiction book of all time
This book is on the following lists:
- - 92nd on The Top 10: The Greatest Books of All Time (The Top 10 (Book))
- - Great Books of the Western World (Great Books Foundation)
- - Finest Works of Fiction (Martin Seymour-Smith and Editors)
- - The Bigger Read List (English PEN)