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The Purse

The Purse by Honore De Balzac
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Honore de Balzac’s The Purse is a short story first published in 1832 to become later a part of Balzac’s voluminous masterpiece The Human Comedy. Like other works by the same French author, The Purse centers on art and the life of artists. The protagonist Hippolyte is a successful painter who befriends his two female neighbors, Adélaide and Madame de Rouville. This happens after they rescued him from an accident in his workshop. Hippolyte, who is emotionally attracted to Adelaide, starts visiting them on a regular basis. He soon becomes suspicious of the two women who claim to be mother and daughter. Indeed, due to their miserable financial condition, people often have many doubts about their demeanor. Hippolyte is even told by some friends that the two women live on prostitution. Furthermore, when Hippolyte once loses his purse, he unhesitatingly suspects his two neighbors of robbing him. Fortunately, he later becomes sure of their innocence and Adelaide’s noble behavior and affection make him even more in love with her. He asks for her hand in marriage. After being alarmed by their very bad reputation, Hippolyte’s mother equally learns the truth about her son’s neighbors and consents to the marriage.

Copyright Group; August 2013
23 pages; ISBN 9781780006727
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Title: The Purse
Author: Honore De Balzac