The Lesser Bourgeoisie by Honoré de Balzac
The story opens with a description of the house owned by Mademoiselle Thuillier and details some of the residents. She, a very capable money-manager, lives there with her brother and his family. M. Colleville is her brother’s most intimate friend and the families spend considerable time together.
Theodose de la Payrade, one of eleven children, came to Paris in 1829. After struggling with several careers he eventually became a barrister, often pleading the causes of the poor.
Numerous other characters and families are involved in the social and monetary intrigues of this tale.