Eline Vere is a passionate and rebellious young socialite, living in The Hague in the late 19th century. Driven by a highly active imagination, she attempts to escape the narrow confines of her bourgeois existence, and to force reality to live up to her dreams - but the world has other plans. In Eline Vere, with its fascinating heroine and supporting cast of her female friends and relatives, Couperus minutely and vividly evokes the characters, conventions, manners and hypocrisies of Dutch society in 1889 - and yet engages with topics that are generally debated to this day.
Louis Couperus (1863-1923), regarded as one of the foremost figures in Dutch literature, was a leading member of the Tachtigers movement. Born in the Hague, Couperus was taken by his family to the Dutch East Indies as a child, where he remained until his father's death. His other novels include Eline Vere (1889), Ecstasy (Extaze: Een boek van geluk, 1892), Inevitable (Langs lijnen van geleidelijkheid, 1900), and The Hidden Force (De Stille Kracht, 1900), all of which are available from Pushkin Press. A renowned wit, raconteur and commentator, Couperus continued to publish critically and commercially successful work until his death.
Couperus sympathy for the hybrid, the impure and the ambiguous gave him a peculiarly modern voice. It is extraordinary that this Dutch dandy, writing in the flowery language of fin-de-siecle decadence, should still sound so fresh -- Ian Buruma The New York Times Review of Books The portrait of their unfolding affair is a masterful observation of the beauty and illogic of romantic love Times Literary Supplement The author's touch is always delicate and sure in handling the lights and shades of thought and emotion The New York Times Book Review Couperus binds both irony and spiritual redemption The Daily Telegraph