by Honoré de Balzac
Honoré de Balzac
Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), born in Tours, ranks among the great masters of the novel. In 1816, he began studying law at the Sorbonne, but after receiving his license in 1819 he decided to abandon it for literature. By the time of his death, he had written over one hundred novels, novellas, and plays, many of them part of his greatest work, La Comedie humaine –– a reproduction of the French society of his time, picturing in precise detail more than 2,000 characters from every class and every profession.