Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac
1799-1850

Honoré de Balzac was born on 20 May 1799 in Tours, France. Balzac's father, Bernard-François Balssa, was one of eleven children from a poor family. He rose to prominence, changing his name to the more noble Balzac and, at age 50, marrying the 18 year old Anne-Charlotte-Laure Sallambier, daughter of a wealthy family of haberdashers. Honoré was their first surviving child.

Balzac spent much of his early life away from his parents, from a wet-nurse, governess, and grammar school in Vendôme. He often received harsh treatment, and even attempted suicide in his mid teens by jumping into the Loire River.

Balzac started writing in around 1820. He wrote with great dedication. He would often start work at midnight, and then work well into the next afternoon, kept awake by black coffee.

As well as writing, Belzac embarked on a number of disastrous business ventures, as a publisher, printer and businessessman. He had an affair with the married writer Maria du Fresnay, with whom he fathered a daughter in 1834. However, the love of his life was Ewelina Hańska, who lived in modern-day Ukraine and was married to a man twenty years her older. When her husband died in 1841, Balzac visisted her in St. Petersburg, competing for her affections with the composer Franz Liszt. Eventually Balzac married Ewelina at age 50, but died five months later, on 18 August 1850.

Balzac wrote a great variety of works, including historical works, contemporary French life, philosophical works, influenced by the rich experiences of his own life. Balzac's main work was La Comédie humaine, a collection of short stories and novels that covers a broad view of French life after the 1815 fall of Napoleon.

101 of Honoré de Balzac's books available to download for free in PDF and all popular eBook reader formats (AZW3, EPUB, MOBI).

 

Books by Honoré de Balzac

BookPublished
Domestic Peace1829
The Ball at Sceaux1829
The Chouans1829
A Passion in the Desert1830
Adieu1830
Vendetta1830
Christ in Flanders1831
The Magic Skin1831
Colonel Chabert1832
La Grenadiere1832
Madame Firmiani1832
The Purse1832
Father Goriot1835
Melmoth Reconciled1835
The Girl With the Golden Eyes1835
The Thirteen1835
Facino Cane1836
The Atheist's Mass1836
The Commission in Lunacy1836
Gambara1837
Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau1837
The Collection of Antiquities1837
Two Poets1837
The Firm of Nucingen1838
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris1839
Letters of Two Brides1840
Vautrin1840
Z. Marcas1840
A Second Home1842
Albert Savarus1842
Another Study of Woman1842
The Resources of Quinola1842
Lost Illusions1843
Pamela Giraud1843
A Woman of Thirty1844
Modeste Mignon1844
The Muse of the Department1844
A Man of Business1845
A Prince of Bohemia1845
Sons of the Soil1845
Cousin Betty1846
Cousin Pons1847
The Deputy of Arcis1847
A Daughter of Eve
A Drama on the Seashore
A Start in Life
A Street Of Paris And Its Inhabitant
An Episode Under the Terror
An Historical Mystery
An Old Maid
At the Sign of The Cat and Racket
Beatrix
Bureaucracy
Catherine De' Medici
Droll Stories
El Verdugo
Eugenie Grandet
Eve and David
Ferragus
Gobseck1840
Honorine
Juana
Louis Lambert
Maitre Cornelius
Massimilla Doni
Mercadet
Paz
Petty Troubles of Married Life
Pierre Grassou
Pierrette
Sarrasine
Scenes from a Courtesan's Life
Seraphita
Study of a Woman
The Alkahest
The Brotherhood of Consolation
The Celibates
The Country Doctor
The Deserted Woman
The Duchesse of Langeais
The Elixir of Life
The Exiles
The Hated Son
The Illustrious Gaudissart1833
The Jealousies of a Country Town
The Lesser Bourgeoisie
The Lily of the Valley
The Marriage Contract
The Napoleon of the People
The Physiology of Marriage
The Recruit
The Red Inn and Others
The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan
The Stepmother
The Two Brothers
The Unknown Masterpiece
The Vicar of Tours
The Village Rector
Unconscious Comedians
Ursula