An excellent biography of the great French writer. The book has been compiled as far as possible from original sources; as the Vicomte de Spoelberch de Lovenjoul--whose collection of documents relating to Balzac, Gautier, and George Sand is unique, while his comprehensive kwledge of Balzac is the result of many years of study--has most kindly allowed me to avail myself of his library at Brussels.
Honore de Balzac 1799-1850 was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comedie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon. 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 multifaceted characters, who are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Marcel Proust, Emile Zola, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gustave Flaubert, Marie Corelli, Henry James, William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino, and philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into or have inspired films, and they are a continuing source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and critics.