"a visit from Rastignac, the well-born adventurere whose career in novel after novel Balzac followed from his humble beginings to his ultimate grandeur"

Ratignac, illustration
Public DomainRatignac, illustration
Eugène de Rastignac is a fictional character from La Comédie humaine, a series of novels by Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850). (To refer to someone as a "Rastignac" is to call them an ambitious "arriviste" or social climber.)