Renée Mauperin

by Edmond de Goncourt, Jules de Goncourt

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Renée Mauperin

Renée Mauperin (reh-NAY moh-peh-RAH[N]), a French girl. She is a sensitive, lively girl and her father’s favorite child. She is in no hurry to settle down in marriage. Like her friend Naomi, Renée is horrified when she learns that her brother Henri is his prospective mother-in-law’s lover. In revenge, Renée notifies M. de Villacourt that her brother is taking the man’s name. When she thinks her action has been discovered, she has a heart attack and then wastes away to death.

M. Mauperin

M. Mauperin, Renée’s father and a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars. Once a scholar and interested in politics, he is now a middle-class businessman. He is grief-stricken when all three of his children die within a short time.

Mme Mauperin

Mme Mauperin, Renée’s mother. She is a very proper woman who wants her family to be respectable above all else. She dotes on her son and cannot see his selfishness. Like her husband, she is grief-stricken at the deaths of her children.

Henri Mauperin

Henri Mauperin (ah[n]-REE), Renée’s brother. He is a political economist and a lawyer, a cold, calculating, and extremely selfish man. He becomes the lover of his fiancée’s mother in order to further his marriage to the daughter. When his fiancée learns of the affair, he tells her it is none of her business. He fights a duel with the real de Villacourt, whose name he has officially taken, and is killed.

Mme Davarande

Mme Davarande (dah-vah-RAHND), Renée’s sister. She is a quiet, respectable woman who has married dutifully. She dies in childbirth, not long after the deaths of her brother and sister.

Naomi Bourjot

Naomi Bourjot (nay-oh-MEE bewr-ZHOH), Renée’s friend and Henri’s fiancée. She is from a rich family, and her father wants her to marry a man with a title. She is horrified when she discovers that her mother has taken Henri as a lover.

Mme Bourjot

Mme Bourjot, Naomi’s mother and Henri’s mistress.

M. Denoisel

M. Denoisel (deh-nwah-ZEHL), a family friend who acts as Henri Mauperin’s second at the duel.

M. de Villacourt

M. de Villacourt (deh vee-lah-KEWR), the last member of his family. He fights a duel with Henri Mauperin in order to keep Henri from assuming the family’s name.

M. Bourjot

M. Bourjot, Naomi’s father. He is a middle-class man of wealth who wants his daughter to marry higher in the social scale.

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