Louis Couperus was catapulted to prominence in 1889 with Eline Vere, a psychological masterpiece inspired by Flaubert and Tolstoy. Eline Vere is a young heiress: dreamy, impulsive, and subject to bleak moods. Though beloved among her large coterie of friends and relations, there are whispers that she is an eccentric: she has been known to wander alone in the park as well indulge in long, lazy philosophical conversations with her vagabond cousin. When she accepts the marriage proposal of a family friend, she is thrust into a life that looks beyond the confines of The Hague, and her overpowering, ever-fluctuating desires grow increasingly blurred and desperate. Only Couperus — as much a member of the elite socialite circle of fin-de-siècle The Hague as he was a virulent critic of its oppressive confines — could have filled this “Novel of The Hague” with so many superbly rendered and vividly imagined characters from a milieu now long forgotten. Award-winning translator Ina Rilke’s new translation of this Madame Bovary of The Netherlands will reintroduce to the English-speaking world the greatest Dutch novelist of his generation.