CLANDESTINE HISTORY: “A MURKY BUSINESS” NOVEL BY BALZAC

May 22, 2011 at 1:27 am | Posted in Books, France, History, Literary | Leave a comment

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A Murky Business (Une Tenebreuse Affaire)

Honore de Balzac (Author)

Herbert J. Hunt (Translator, Introduction)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This novel covers the years 1803-6, when Napoleon was making himself first consul and then emperor.

It is also an early example of the detective story, in which the sinister, implacable police agent, Corentin, stalks his way towards vengeance on his aristocratic enemies.

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics
  • September 28, 1978
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140442715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140442717

A Murky Business (Une Tenebreuse Affaire)  

Conspiracy theorists rejoice. Balzac weaves such a complex web. As Napoleon decides the fate of Europe, others are secretly deciding the fate of France.

From the streets of Paris, just beneath the Emperors nose, to the provincial farmers of Champaign; machinations with a flair not seen since the Borgias lead the reader along this rollercoaster.

A Murky Business (Une Tenebreuse Affaire)

A Murky Business is wonderful. The acute eye and superb writing of Balzac are put in service of a political mystery novel. Napoleon is trying to conquer Europe, and Fouche, his police chief (a fascinating historical character) is covering his back, doing all the dirty work. For Napoleon has powerful enemies who are conspiring to depose him. Malin is one of the conspirators, a man who buys a big house called Gondreville, in rural Champagne. Michú, his servant, helps her beautiful and rich neighbor, Lorence de Cynq-Cygne (one of Balzac’s strongest and smartest female characters) to get their cousins secretly into France. These guys, called Simeuse, are conspirators exiled by Napoleon. Fouche gets to know the Simeuses are back in France, and starts the search for them, kidnapping Malin.  It is a great novel with a very dark tone. There are spies, traitors, revenge and passion.  This novel should be much more famous, since it is magnificent entertainment and excellent literature.

A Murky Business (Une Tenebreuse Affaire)

Honore de Balzac (Author)

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