> Skip to content
  • Published: 7 December 2004
  • ISBN: 9780451529596
  • Imprint: Signet
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320

Pere Goriot



Père 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 Comédie Humaine, his series of novels and short stories depicting “the whole pell-mell of civilization.” In Père 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 Reedand with an Introduction by Peter Brooks

  • Published: 7 December 2004
  • ISBN: 9780451529596
  • Imprint: Signet
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320

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

Praise for Pere Goriot

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

Related titles