Written by Honoré de Balzac
as a tragedy, the story is set in the dark
society of greed
It is set in Paris in 1819, and is a story of a man, Goriot, who becomes financially then personally ruined by love for his two opportunistic daughters, and is forced to live in a boarding house along with other sad persons.
He meets a poor aristocrat, Rastignac, who came to Paris to escape the poverty of his family in Southern France, and becomes entangled in Paris society, and ultimately with the politics and emotions of Goriot's daughters.
I read the whole thing in English just yesterday. It makes me want to buy nice restoration clothes, and strut and preen. I recommend it, as it was a worthwhile readorama.