Honoré de Balzac, 1799-1850

A photo of Balzac

Biographical note

Nineteenth-century French novelist, one of the creators of Realism in literature. His Human Comedy (La Comédie humaine), spanning more than 90 novels and short stories, is a broad, often satirical panorama of French society, particularly the petite bourgeoisie, in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte.

Along with Gustave Flaubert (whose work he influenced), Balzac is generally regarded as a founding father of realism in European literature. Balzac's novels, most of which are farcical comedies, feature a large cast of well-defined characters, and descriptions in exquisite detail of the scene of action.

See also:

Works

(The order is according to Balzac's final plan [1845] of the Comédie Humaine.)

Studies of manners (Études de moeurs)

Scenes from private life (Scènes de la vie privée)

Scenes from provincial life (Scènes de la vie de province]

Scenes from Parisian life (Scènes de la vie parisienne]

Scenes from political life (Scènes de la vie politique]

Scenes from military life (Scènes de la vie militaire]

Scenes from country life (Scènes de la vie de campagne)

Philosophical studies (Études philosophiques)

Analytical studies (Études analytiques]

Collected Works

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