PUBLISHERS OF LITERARY FICTION SINCE 1983
"Crushed by poverty or the weight of their pretensions, the high and low life of 19th century Madrid provides the cast for this enjoyably bleak portrait of a family's decline, fall and recovery. The widow Dona Francisca, reduced from salon to slum, is protected by her servant Benita, who begs and barters in a daily battle with starvation and her mistress's pride. When a sudden inheritance enriches the old crow, Benita is cast aside. Galdos's Spain teems with saints and sinners, corrupted as much by poverty as by wealth."
The Sunday Times