> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 1 June 1964
  • ISBN: 9780140440508
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

Eugenie Grandet




Depicting the fatal clash between material desires and the liberating power of human passions, Honoré de Balzac's Eugénie Grandet is translated with an introduction by M.A. Crawford in Penguin Classics.
In a gloomy house in provincial Saumur, the miser Grandet lives with his wife and daughter, Eugénie, whose lives are stifled and overshadowed by his obsession with gold. Guarding his piles of glittering treasures and his only child equally closely, he will let no one near them. But when the arrival of her handsome cousin, Charles, awakens Eugénie's own desires, her passion brings her into a violent collision with her father that results in tragedy for all. Eugénie Grandet is one of the earliest and finest works in Balzac's Comédie humaine cycle, which portrays a society consumed by the struggle to amass wealth and achieve power. Here Grandet embodies both the passionate pursuit of money, and the human cost of avarice.
M. A. Crawford's lucid translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing the irony and psychological insight of Balzac's characterization, the role of fate in the novel, its setting and historical background.
Honoré De Balzac (1799-1850) failed at being a lawyer, publisher, printer, businessman, critic and politician before, at the age of thirty, turning his hand to writing. His life's work, La Comédie humaine, is a series of ninety novels and short stories which offer a magnificent panorama of nineteenth-century life after the French Revolution. Balzac was an influence on innumerable writers who followed him, including Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, and Edgar Allan Poe.
If you enjoyed Eugenie Grandet you might like Molière's The Miser and Other Plays, also available in Penguin Classics.

  • Pub date: 1 June 1964
  • ISBN: 9780140440508
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Honore de Balzac

The son of a civil servant, Honoré de Balzac was born in 1799 in Tours, France. After attending boarding school in Vendôme, he gravitated to Paris where he worked as a legal clerk and a hack writer, using various pseudonyms, often in collaboration with other writers. Balzac turned exclusively to fiction at the age of thirty and went on to write a large number of novels and short stories set amid turbulent nineteenth-century France. He entitled his collective works The Human Comedy. Along with Victor Hugo and Dumas père and fils, Balzac was one of the pillars of French romantic literature. He died in 1850, shortly after his marriage to the Polish countess Evelina Hanska, his lover of eighteen years.

Also by Honore de Balzac

See all

Related titles