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About the Author: Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac was a nineteenth-century French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of almost 100 novels and plays collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1815.

Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multi-faceted characters; even his lesser characters are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. Inanimate objects are imbued with character as well; the city of Paris, a backdrop for much of his writing, takes on many human qualities. His writing influenced many famous authors, including the novelists Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, Henry James and Jack Kerouac, as well as important philosophers such as Friedrich Engels. Many of Balzac's works have been made into films, and they continue to inspire other writers.

An enthusiastic reader and independent thinker as a child, Balzac had trouble adapting himself to the teaching style of his grammar school. His willful nature caused trouble throughout his life, and frustrated his ambitions to succeed in the world of business. When he finished school, Balzac was apprenticed as a legal clerk, but he turned his back on law after wearying of its inhumanity and banal routine. Before and during his career as a writer, he attempted to be a publisher, printer, businessman, critic, and politician. He failed in all of these efforts. La Comédie Humaine reflects his real-life difficulties, and includes scenes from his own experience.

Balzac suffered from health problems throughout his life, possibly due to his intense writing schedule. His relationship with his family was often strained by financial and personal drama, and he lost more than one friend over critical reviews. In 1850, he married Ewelina Hańska, his longtime paramour; he died five months later.

Other books by Honoré de Balzac

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Find the best price forColonel Chabert

Goodreads rating: 3.62

Paperback, Published in May 2008 by Book Jungle

ISBN10: 1605975400 | ISBN13: 9781605975405

Page count: 72

Colonel Chabert is a hero of Napoleon's army believed to be killed on the battlefield at Eylau. But he has survived, even though he has lost his memory, and spend several years in an asylum. The novel begins when he returns to Paris, to the life he left behind, only to discover that in his absence his life - family, society, identity - has changed. Napoleon is deposited, the aristocracy has returned to power and it is as if the revolution never took place. His wife, believing that he had died, remarried with an aristocrat. Horrified because she pretends she does not know him, and sick of a society that does not recognize his former merits, Chabert tries to regain both his money and his reputation.

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