Pere Goriot

Pere Goriot Cover

Pere Goriot

By Honore De Balzac; Henry Reed (Translator); Henry Reed (Afterword by)

Signet Book, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780451529596, 320pp.

Publication Date: December 7, 2004

"Pere Goriot "can rightly be regarded as one of the greatest of Balzac's novels, writes Henry Reed of this masterful study of a father who sacrifices everything for his daughters. This novel marked the true beginning of Balzac's towering project "La Com"e"die Humaine," his series of novels and short stories depicting the whole pell-mell of civilization. In "Pere Goriot," the great novelist probes the bourgeois tragedy of money and power from two different directions. While Goriot is willingly reduced to poverty to support his ambitious daughters, an impoverished young man of integrity becomes money hungry. Attracted to one of Goriot's daughters, Rastignac succumbs to the fever of social climbing. The resulting tale is a commentary on wealth and human desire that still rings true in the twenty-first century.
Translated and with an Afterword by Henry Reed
and with an Introduction by Peter Brooks.

About the Author
Honore de Balzac (1799 1850) worked for three years in a lawyer s office, preparing to practice law, but in 1819, he devoted himself to writing. His early stories were hackwork published under various pseudonyms. In 1829, he published "La Dernier Chouan," the first story to bear his name and his first success. Over the next twenty years, Balzac s literary output was prodigious: three or four novels a year, sometimes more. All became part of "La Comedie Humaine," a panorama of the whole of French society, some of the most important works of this series being "Eugenie Grandet" (1833) and "Pere Goriot" (1834). He also wrote plays and the popular "Droll Stories" (1833).

Henry Reed (1914-86) was a noted poet, translator, and writer of radio plays. In addition to "Pere Goriot," his translations include "Eugenie Grandet" by Honore de Balzac. His poems were published in two volumes, "A Map of Verona" and "Lessons of the War."

Peter Brooks is the author of a number of books, including "Reading for the Plot," "The Melodramatic Imagination," and "Henry James Goes to Paris. "He was a longtime professor of comparative literature and French at Yale University and University Professor at the University of Virginia."

Praise For Pere Goriot

“The greatest novelist who ever lived.”—W. Somerset Maugham
“A man of genius.”—Victor Hugo