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Balzac : Vintage Lives - Pritchett, V.S.


Vintage Lives


Published: 1st August 2002
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Honore de Balzac, with his monumental legacy, the "Comedie Humaine" (an unsurpassed picture of French society from the rise and fall of Napoleon to the Revolution), was one of the founding geniuses among the world's great novelists. Pritchett presents a life-size portrait of the man inside the artist, the exhuberant, uncouth provincial who combined encyclopaedic knowledge with the life of an exhibitionist and would-be dandy. He was a gourmet, a disastrous financial speculator, successful pursuer of aristocratic women, a born salesman and an untiring traveller. Yet, with some truth, Balzac called himself a monk, working 16 hours a day fuelled by an ocean of strong coffee. Balzac's life can be followed through his enormous correspondence with his family, the women he loved and, above all, with Madame Hanska, an imperious Polish countess. Employing his own novelist's eye for the scene, Pritchett shows us Balzac in the Parisian swim of the 1830s and 40s, the city of Louis Phillip, Daumier, Delacroix and the Romantics, with its contradictory day-dreams of Oriental sensuality, religious mysticism and bourgeois respectability, as the Industrial Revolution began to take hold.

ISBN: 9780099429579
ISBN-10: 0099429578
Series: Vintage Lives
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st August 2002
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.3  x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.25
Edition Number: 1