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Le Cabinet des Antiques
Le Cabinet des Antiques (The Cabinet of Antiquities) is a French novel published by Honoré de Balzac in 1838 under the title les Rivalités en province (Rivalries in the provinces) in le Constitutionnel, then published as a work in its own right in 1838 by the Souverain publishing house.
With la Vieille Fille, the work fits into les Rivalités, an isolated group in the Scènes de la vie de province collection of la Comédie humaine. In it, Balzac portrays the old nobility in the French provinces, ruined by the French Revolution and forgotten by the restored Bourbons. The marquis d’Esgrignon, his sister and his friends represent this social group, which the author had already portrayed in la Vieille Fille. The younger generation within this class, represented by the marquis's son, causes his loss, sucked in by the whirlpool of Paris, where he lives merrily and ruins his fortunes.
Le Cabinet des Antiques works as a sequel to la Vieille Fille although the names of its main characters and not exactly the same. It is an adventure story, full of twists and with suspense created by the young son that borders on that of a crime novel as he lies and risks imprisonment.
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