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La Fille aux yeux d'or

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Wikipedia article

'La Fille aux yeux d'or' (English: 'The Girl With the Golden Eyes') is a novella by Honor de Balzac. It is the third part of the Thirteen series, which includes the short stories 'Ferragus' and 'La Duchesse de Langeais'. It is also part of his 'La Comdie humaine' novel sequence.

Plot summary

The story follows the decadent heir Henri de Marsay, who becomes enamored of the titular beauty, Paquita Valdes, and plots to seduce her. Though he succeeds, he becomes disillusioned when he discovers she is also involved with another lover, and plots to murder her. When he arrives to kill her, he discovers she's already dead by the hand of her lover - his half-sister. She declares that Paquita came from a land where women are no more than chattels, able to be bought and used in any way. In the last lines of the story, de Marsay laughingly tells a friend that the girl has died of consumption.

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