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Honore de Balzac Biography
Honore de Balzac (May 20, 1799 - August 18, 1850), was a French novelist.

He was born in Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France in the rue de l'Armée Italienne.

He would become one of the creators of Realism in literature, though his work is still largely in the tradition of French Literary Romanticism. His Human Comedy (La Comédie humaine) spanned more than 90 novels and short stories in an attempt to comprehend and depict the realities of life in modern bourgeois France.

Balzac's work habits are legendarily intimidating - he wrote for up to 15 hours a day, fuelled by innumerable cups of black coffee. Because of this extraordinarily large output, many of the novels display minor imperfections and in some cases outright careless writing. Several, however, are widely recognized to be masterpieces:

La peau de chagrin
Cousine Bette
Le père Goriot
Eugènie Grandet
Les illusions perdues
Balzac's realistic prose and his strength as an encyclopedic recorder of his age outshine any small detracting qualities of his style to make him a Dickensian bastion of French literature.

Balzac is buried in Le Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France. He is commemorated by a monumental statue which Auguste Rodin was commissioned to sculpt.

Balzac's works have fallen into the public domain, and a number of them are available online from Project Gutenberg. Balzac undertook a huge project: The Human Comedy, which is a collection of about 100 linked stories and novels. The stories are placed in a variety of settings, with characters reappearing in multiple stories. The Balzac Plan of the Comedie Humaine is as follows:


At the Sign of the Cat and Racket
The Ball at Sceaux
The Purse
The Vendetta
Madame Firmiani
A Second Home
Domestic Peace
The Imaginary Mistress or Paz
A Study of Woman
Another Study of Woman
La Grand Breteche
Albert Savarus
Letters of Two Brides
A Daughter of Eve
A Woman of Thirty
The Deserted Woman
La Grenadiere
The Message
A Marriage Settlement or A Marriage Contract
A Start in Life
Modeste Mignon
Colonel Chabert
The Atheist's Mass
The Commission in Lunacy
Pierre Grassou

Ursule Mirouet
Eugenie Grandet
The Celibates:
The Vicar of Tours
A Bachelor's Establishment
The Two Brothers
The Black Sheep
Parisians in the Country:
Gaudissart the Great or The Illustrious Gaudissart
The Muse of the Department
The Jealousies of a Country Town:
The Old Maid
The Collection of Antiquities
The Lily of the Valley
Lost Illusions:--I.
The Two Poets
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris, Part 1
Lost Illusions:--II.
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris, Part 2
Eve and David

Scenes from a Courtesan's Life:
Esther Happy
What Love Costs an Old Man
The End of Evil Ways
Vautrin's Last Avatar
A Prince of Bohemia
A Man of Business
Gaudissart II.
The Unconscious Humorists or The Unconscious Comedians
The Thirteen:
The Duchesse de Langeais
The Girl with the Golden Eyes
Father Goriot
The Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
The Firm of Nucingen
The Secrets of a Princess or The Secrets of the Princess Cadignan
The Government Clerks
Facine Cane
Poor Relations:--I.
Cousin Betty
Poor Relations:--II.
Cousin Pons
The Middle Classes or The Lesser Bourgeoise

The Gondreville Mystery or An Historical Mystery
An Episode Under the Terror
The Seamy Side of History: or The Brotherhood of Consolation:
Madame de la Chanterie
Initiated or The Initiate
Z. Marcas
The Member for Arcis or The Deputy for Arcis

The Chouans
A Passion in the Desert

The Country Doctor
The Country Parson or The Village Rector
The Peasantry or Sons of the Soil

The Magic Skin
The Quest of the Absolute or The Alkahest
Christ in Flanders
Melmoth Reconciled
The Unknown Masterpiece or The Hidden Masterpiece
The Hated Son
Massimilla Doni
The Maranas or Juana
The Conscript or The Recruit
El Verdugo
A Seaside Tragedy or A Drama on the Seashore
The Red Inn
The Elixir of Life
Maitre Cornelius
About Catherine de' Medici
The Calvinist Martyr
The Ruggieri's Secret
The Two Dreams
Louis Lambert
The Exiles
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Honore de Balzac.