By George Meredith
The Egoist (1879) via George Meredith is a cosmopolitan, brilliantly written dissection of a self-absorbed younger guy of society and the very varied ladies who fall inside of his sphere.
during this comedy with critical overtones, Sir Willoughby -- a hugely eligible bachelor, and the Egoist in query -- courts, proposes and loses brides again and again, after which wonders at his personal inexplicable situation.
the reply can be encapsulated within the following epitaph:
"Through very love of self himself he slew."
A masterpiece of perception, wit, and style.