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Balzac : a life

Author: Graham Robb
Publisher: New York : Norton, 1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st American ed
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In the first major English biography of Honore de Balzac for over fifty years, Graham Robb has produced a compelling portrait of the great French novelist whose powers of creation were matched only by his self-destructive tendencies. As colorful as the world he described, Balzac is the perfect subject for biography: a relentless seducer whose successes were as spectacular as his catastrophes; a passionate collector,  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Honoré de Balzac; Honore de Balzac; Honoré de Balzac
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Graham Robb
ISBN: 0393036790 9780393036794
OCLC Number: 30436965
Description: xvii, 521 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. Provincial life (1799-1814) --
2. Parisian life (1815-1819) --
3. Dreams (1819-1820) --
4. Gutter poetry (1821-1822) --
5. Divine intercourse (1822-1824) --
6. The price of free enterprise (1824-1828) --
7. The last of the Chouans (1828-1830) --
8. Absolute power (1830-1832) --
9. Madness (1832). 10. The ideal woman (1832-1834) --
11. Family planning (1834-1836) --
12. Illusions lost and found (1836-1837) --
13. Buried treasure (1838) --
14. Barbarians (1839-1842) --
15. The end of the tunnel (1842-1845) --
16. Revolution (1845-1848) --
17. Home (1848-1850) --
18. The human comedy (Epilogue).
Responsibility: Graham Robb.

Abstract:

In the first major English biography of Honore de Balzac for over fifty years, Graham Robb has produced a compelling portrait of the great French novelist whose powers of creation were matched only by his self-destructive tendencies. As colorful as the world he described, Balzac is the perfect subject for biography: a relentless seducer whose successes were as spectacular as his catastrophes; a passionate collector, inventor, explorer, and political campaigner; a mesmerizing storyteller with the power to make his fantasies come true. Balzac's early life was a struggle against literary disappointment and poverty, and he learned his trade by writing a series of lurid commercial novels. Robb shows how Balzac's craving for wealth, fame, and happiness produced a series of hare-brained entrepreneurial schemes which took him to the remotest parts of Europe and into a love affair with a Polish countess whom he courted for fifteen years by correspondence. Out of these experiences emerged some of the finest novels in the Realist tradition. Skillfully interweaving the life with the novels, Robb presents Balzac as one of the great tragi-comic heroes of the nineteenth century, a man whose influence both in and outside his native France has been, and still is, immense.

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