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.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe was born in Frankfurt-am-Main in 1749. At twenty-four he wrote Goetz von Berlingen, a play which brought him national fame and established him in the Sturm und Drang movement. Goethe began work on Faust, and Egmont, another tragedy, before being invited to join the government at Weimer. He finished Faust before he died in 1832. R.J. Hollingdale has translated eleven of Nietzsche's books and published two books about him. He is honorary president of the British Nietzsche Society.