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Boule de Suif (1880)
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"It is 1870: northern France is occupied by Prussian troops, and a carriage travelling from Rouen to Dieppe is held up by the invading forces. The price of the passenger's release: a night with the on-board whore." "Butterball is a prostitute with scruples. A staunch Bonapartist, but disdained by her bourgeois fellow-travellers on account of her profession, she nonetheless shares her provisions with them; sleeping with a Prussian officer for their sake is, however, a bridge too far. The solidarity the other characters initially assume is gradually worn down by boredom and fear, and together they set about persuading her of the righteousness of self-sacrifice. Maupassant's satire of bourgeois hypocrisy and cowardice is here complemented by a selection of his other short stories, all linked by common themes of gender and petty prejudice, great and unexpected courage, and the mean, narrow-minded motivations of the bourgeoisie."--BOOK JACKET.
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