Set in the Paris of society women, prostitutes and small-minded bourgeousie, and the isolated villages of rural Normandy that de Maupassant knew as a child, the thirty-three tales in this volume are among the most darkly humorous and brilliant short stories in nineteenth-century literature. They focus on the relationships between men and women, as in the poignant fantasy of ‘A Parisian Affair’, between brothers and sisters, and between masters and servants. Through these relationships, Maupassant explores the dualistic nature of the human character and his stories reveal both nobility, civility and generosity, and, in stories such as ‘At Sea’ and ‘Boule de Suif’, vanity, greed and hypocrisy. Maupassant’s stories repeatedly lay humanity bare with deft wit and devastating honesty.
Siân Miles’s vibrant new translation is accompanied by an Introduction discussing Maupassant’s stpries as a reflection of the rapidly changing beliefs of his society. This edition includes the famous story, “The Necklace,” as well as a chronology, notes, and suggestions for further reading.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.