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Download Cousin Bette Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Cousin Bette Audiobook, by Honoré de Balzac Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Honoré de Balzac Narrator: Johanna Ward Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455176670
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Bette, a poor relation of the beautiful Adeline, nurses a terrible grudge against her cousin’s family, on whom she depends. That family is slowly being ruined by the uncontrollable sexual appetites of Adeline’s husband, Baron Hulot—and it is this weakness that will give the cunning Cousin Bette an opportunity to exact her vengeance.

A profound examination of obsessive passion, this masterpiece exemplifies what Henry James described as Balzac’s “huge, all-compassing, all-desiring, all-devouring love of reality.” One of Balzac's “scenes of Parisian life,” Cousin Bette offers a hypnotic vision of the infinitely varied city during the bright, vital, and scandalous era of King Louis-Philippe. The courtesans, swindlers, bankers, artists, murderers, detectives, and saints that pass before us blaze with an unsurpassed vividness and energy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Beyond all question one of the very greatest of [Balzac’s] works.”

    George Saintsbury

  • “The masterpiece of his premature old age.”

    Graham Robb, Balzac biographer

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About the Author

Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850) was born in Tours, France, educated at the Collège de Vendôme, and studied law at the Sorbonne. His father wished him to become a lawyer, but he left Tours in 1819 to seek his fortune as an author in Paris. He wrote eighty-five novels in twenty years, but his life was one of frequent privation. In 1850, he married Countess Hanska, a rich Polish lady with whom he had corresponded for more than fifteen years. Five months later, Balzac died in Paris.

About the Narrator

Johanna Ward (a.k.a. Kate Reading) is an Audie® Award–winning narrator and has received numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.