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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850)

Balzac, Honoré de (bäl-zäk’). The greatest of French novelists; born in Tours, May 16, 1799; died in Paris, Aug. 18, 1850. He began his literary career with a poor attempt at tragedy and some ten or fifteen romances for the booksellers. His first important work was ‘Les Derniers Chouans’ (1829). He gave to his works the general title ‘The Human Comedy’ in which are embraced the sub-series: ‘Scenes of Private Life,’ 27 stories and sketches (among them: ‘The Woman of Thirty,’ ‘La Grenadière’); ‘Scenes of Paris Life’ (among them: ‘Père Goriot,’ ‘César Birotteau,’ ‘Cousin Betty’); ‘Scenes of Political Life’; ‘Scenes of Military Life’; ‘Scenes of Provincial Life’ (among them: ‘Eugénie Grandet’ and ‘Ursule Mirouet’); ‘Scenes of Country Life.’ All of these titles fall under “Studies of Manners.” There is, besides, a group of “Philosophic Studies,” including ‘Le Peau de Chagrin,’ and a group of “Analytical Studies.” According to Larousse’s Dictionary, Balzac’s novels amount in all to 97 titles; but this does not include all miscellaneous studies and short stories contributed to periodicals. (See Critical and Biographical Introduction).