The story chronicles the rise to power of journalist Georges Duroy from a poor ex-NCO to one of the most successful men in Paris -- most of which he achieves by means of a series of powerful,... More > intelligent, and wealthy mistresses.< Less
Bel Ami is French author Guy de Maupassant's second novel, published in 1885; an English translation titled Bel Ami, or, The History of a Scoundrel: A Novel first appeared in 1903.
The story... More > chronicles journalist Georges Duroy's corrupt rise to power from a poor ex-NCO to one of the most successful men in Paris, most of which he achieves by manipulating a series of powerful, intelligent, and wealthy mistresses.< Less
His rise testifies to the decline of a whole society.' Jean-Paul Sartre
Maupassant's second novel, Bel-Ami (1885) is the story of a ruthlessly ambitious young man (Georges Duroy, christened... More > 'Bel-Ami' by his female admirers) making it to the top in fin-de-siècle Paris. It is a novel about money, sex, and power, set against the background of the politics of the French colonization of North Africa. It explores the dynamics of an urban society uncomfortably close to our own and is a devastating satire of the sleaziness of contemporary journalism.
Bel-Ami enjoys the status of an authentic record of the apotheosis of bourgeois capitalism under the Third Republic. But the creative tension between its analysis of modern behaviour and its identifiably late nineteenth-century fabric is one of the reasons why Bel-Ami remains one of the finest French novels of its time, as well as being recognized as Maupassant's greatest achievement as a novelist. (from http://ukcatalogue.oup.com).
Enriched editions.< Less