The Egoist (1879) by George Meredith is a sophisticated, brilliantly written dissection of a self-absorbed young man of society and the very different women who fall within his sphere.
In this comedy with serious overtones, Sir Willoughby -- a highly eligible bachelor, and the Egoist in question -- courts, proposes and loses brides repeatedly, and then wonders at his own inexplicable predicament.
The answer might be encapsulated in the following epitaph:
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