Author(s): Honore de Balzac
In a gloomy house in provincial Saumur lives the miser Grandet with his wife and daughter, Eugenie, whose lives are stifled and overshadowed by his obsession with gold. But when the arrival of her handsome cousin, Charles, awakens Eugenie's desires, her passion brings her into a violent collision with her father that results in tragedy for all.
Balzac was born in 1799, the son of a civil servant. At the age of thirty - heavily in debt and with an unsucessful past behind him - he started work on the first of what were to become a total of ninety novels and short stories that make up The Human Comedy. He died in 1850. M. A. Crawford has translated many of Balzac's novels for the Penguin Classics