Gobseck

Author: Honoré de Balzac

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Gobseck is a novel whose main theme is greed. It first appeared in outline form in La Mode in March 1830 under the title l'Usurier (The Usurer), and then in novel form in a volume published by Mame-Delaunay under the title Les Dangers de l'inconduite. The final title, Gobseck, appeared in 1842 in the Furne edition of La Comédie Humaine.

The plot is set in the French Restoration, and introduces us to the lawyer Maître Derville and the Vicomtesse de Grandlieu. Derville tells a story centered on Anastasie de Restaud, who is the daughter of a rich bourgeois who has married into the aristocracy, but who is bored with her marriage because it lacks love and passion.

As a result, Anastasie de Restaud has an affair with Maxime de Trailles and spends her fortune on him, so she turns to the usurer Jean-Esther van Gobseck for financial help.

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