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Publisher's Summary

Lisbeth Fischer has lived in the shadow of her beautiful cousin Adeline for much of her life. Pampered while Lisbeth works in the fields, Adeline makes an enviable leap in status when Baron Hulot offers her his hand in marriage. Out of kindness, they bring Lisbeth to Paris, where she falls in love with the artist Wenceslas, her protege. 

However, when she is jilted for Adeline's daughter Hortense, her jealousy and rage exponentially intensify, and she resolves to bring the Hulot family to ruin, employing the cold seductress Valerie Marneffe as her vehicle for revenge. 

A classic tale of obsession, self-destruction and unabated desire, Cousin Bette is a blazing portrayal of libertine France, and the fatal excesses which drive the novel to its dark end.

Public Domain (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Cousin Bette

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Profile Image for adiba yaqobi
  • adiba yaqobi
  • 06-12-22

Diba

It is unfinished. Stop in the middle of the book. Does it have a second part?

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Profile Image for Jonathan T
  • Jonathan T
  • 03-20-22

Classic Balzac

A complex web of characters brought alive with Balzac's usual aplomb. A good insight into Parisien society at the time, although I hope it wasn't always quite this scheming. Well narrated by Lucy Scott.

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Profile Image for Malik Maliki
  • Malik Maliki
  • 10-16-21

Fantastic book superbly told

I first read Cousin Bette twenty five years ago, and loved it. It was unlike any British 19th century literature I had (been made to) read. It is a complex and excellently characterised story of betrayal, lust, vengeance, and greed. The opening scene where Crevel tries to pressure the wife of his rival into a humiliating affair is electrifying.

The narrator is excellent. She differentiates well between characters for the listener: sometimes though accent but often through very subtle changes in tone and pitch.

I have no hesitation in recommending this recording.