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Elective Affinities by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Eduard and Charlotte are an aristocratic couple who live a harmonious but idle life in their estate. But the peace of their existence is thrown into chaos when two visitors Eduard's friend the Captain and Charlotte's passionate young ward Ottilie provoke unexpected attraction and forbidden love. Taking its title from the principle of elective affinities the theory that certain chemicals are naturally drawn to one another this is a penetrating study of marriage and adultery. Inspired by Goethe's own conflicting loyalties as he battled to maintain his relationship with his wife and control his feelings for a younger woman, Elective Affinities is one of the greatest works of the romance era: a rich exploration of love, conflict, and the inescapable force of fate.

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