Biography of Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)

Honoré de Balzac.

Narrator and French playwright, born in Tours on May 20, 1799 and died in Paris on August 18, 1850. Although his real name was Balssa, signed his literary works such as Honoré de Balzac, name that has become the history of universal literature. Master realism - considered in France as the father of the current undisputed and precursor of other narrative tendencies as naturalism, the post-naturalismo, the Marxist critical realism, visionary prose and the novel"absolute", in his monumental romantic production--conceived as a whole unit in which works are interrelated and the characters reappear in several of them - reflected the greater attempt to ever play in a universe of fiction customsideas and human types at a time.


Born into a family belonging to the small provincial bourgeoisie, came to the world in recent rales of the revolution (specifically, the 1 Prairial year VII of the Republic) and was recorded at his departure from birth as Honoré Balssa, without the "of" that it was not him (and that he/she only put his surname from 1830). He/She was the second son of the marriage formed by Bernard-François Balssa (an official of military administration) and Anne-Charlotte-Laure Sallembier (coming from a family of merchants). The mother of the future writer, who was thirty-two years younger than her husband, had already lost to the first stem from marriage, apparently because of his commitment to her breast with her own milk when he/she was not qualified to do so; Hence, Honoré, as soon as it came to the world was delivered to a mother of Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, which is kid until there were under the age of four. Meanwhile, his parents had two daughters: (1800) Laure and Laurence (1802).

Bernard-François Balssa, who had been Secretary of the King's Council during the ancien régime, was now responsible for the provisioning of the 22nd division to ensure military Tours, which fought the insurrections of the chouans (supporters of the monarchy during the French Revolution, disseminated by the Western provinces). At the beginning of the new century, coinciding with the first bars of the Napoleonic Government, the Balssa had undergone a remarkable rise up the social ladder from their provincial environment, with the head of the family become Advisor to the Justice of the peace's Tours.

In 1804, suddenly deprived of the attentions of his beloved mother, the little Honoré - that never had the affection of his mother - received the first rudiments of his academic training at the Le Guay, at his hometown College. Three years later, was registered as boarding pupil at the College of the Oratorians of Vendôme, where he/she would remain for seven years (from 1807 until 1813, both included), without receiving in this period more than two visits of his mother. Psychoanalytic criticism has wanted to see the origin of the posterior tilt of Balzac in this lack of motherly love sexual relationships with women much older than him. Be that as it may, the truth is that, during his childhood and youth, searched her sisters - and very pointed way, Laure-that affection that his mother Chibi to deny him.

In 1814, with the fall of the Napoleonic Empire and the arrival of the monarchical restoration, the family of the future writer left Tours to settle down in the Parisian rue du Temple, in search of greater opportunities for the social and economic medro. For a couple of years, the young Honoré completed his secondary studies at two pensioners from the Marais district - which continued subject to the regime of internal - and, finally, at the Lycée Charlemagne - where, already as an external student, never shone for his abilities, artistic or intellectual. When completing the seventeen years of age (1816), according to the will of his father, he/she enrolled in the Faculty of law with the intention of obtaining a Bachelor's degree in laws, although by then he/she had already begun to experience the need to devote itself to the cultivation of literary creation. To contribute to the financing of his studies, he/she began working as an intern at the service of the prosecutor Jean-Baptiste Guillonnet-Merville, who would inspire one of his most famous characters ("Maître Derville" from the human comedy). Moreover, the experience gained in these environments of Parisian lawyer would have him abundant material for his story the Colonel Chabert.

Having also worked with a notary residing in the same building occupied by his family in the Temple, the young street Honoré started to write his first literary writings - specifically, notes about the immortality of the soul - while I had the privilege of having, in the classrooms of the Sorbonne, the teaching of some teachers as Víctor Cousin (1792-1867) philosopher and historian Pierre Guizot (1787-1874). In 1819, following the retirement of Monsieur Balssá, the family of the writer moved to the rural town of Villeparisis; but the young Honoré refused to leave Paris and got to stay in a miserable attic of rue Lesdiguières (located in the District of La Bastille), where, in the midst of painful economic difficulties, it continued efforts to devote himself to literature and wrote the drama in verse Cromwell (1819), a mediocre work in Alexandrians who would never see released or posted.

He decided then try his luck in the field of prose fiction, and began the writing of two novels — Stenie and Falthurne — which remained unfinished in 1820. While it remained thanks to the publication of some newspaper articles in various Parisian media, returned to make contact with her family during the wedding of her sisters (Laure was married in 1820 and Laurence a year later), but continued to reject the advice of his father, who urged him to make a living with other more profitable trades and greater social projection (such as the exercise of the legal profession). Thus the things, under the collective pseudonym of Auguste Viellerglé published Charles Pointel (1921), the first of its narrations that saw the light, written in collaboration with some friends of Bohemian literary. Almost throughout the Decade of the 1920s, Balzac survived badly posting minor novels - sometimes written entirely by him, and sometimes written together with one or several friends--who sought the easy success of the English thriller; writing numerous articles and essays on varied themes; and embarking on a business venture - how the acquired a printing press - which earned him more troubles than benefits.

In 1822, year in which the Balssa returned to take up residence in Paris, Honoré started an intense affair with the Baroness de Berny, which at the time had forty five years of age (i.e., twenty-two more than the young writer). Years later, already broken the bond of the passion, the Baroness would continue providing support and friendship to Balzac, who always benefited from the influences of that good friend that was called "The work". Meanwhile, it remained very endeavoured in the publication of those infamous novels of livelihoods, as the heiress of Birague (1822) and Jean-Louis or the foundling (1822), both written in collaboration with his friend Lepoitevin and published under the pseudonym of Viellergle and Lord R'hoone. In the course of that same year appeared Clotilde de Lusignan (1822) - signed by Lord R'hoone and considered by critics today as the first novel Balzac wrote solo - and the centenary (1822) and the Vicar of the Ardennes (1822) - both published under the pseudonym Horace de Saint-Aubin. Under this same name gave to printing, little later, the last fairy (1823) and Anette and the criminal (1824), as his family returned back to Villeparisis. At that time are also two trials - the right of mayorazgo (1824) and the impartial history of the Jesuits (1824) - pure conservative and reactionary, which seem to be written by custom.

Willing, aside from their rare literary successes, to continue living letters, in 1825 he/she tried fortune as a Publisher, but lost the endangered hacienda owned by launching paths editions of the complete works of Molière (1622-1673) and La Fontaine (1621-1695), which constituted two resounding failures of sales. Withdrew, so the home occupied by his sister Laure (married to the engineer Eugène Surville) in Versailles, where he/she became friends with another mature woman who would end up being his mistress, Laure Saint-Martin Permon (1784-1838), Duchess of Abrantes, widow of general Junot (1771-1813) and celebrated writer, author - among many other works - from the romantic novel Le toreador. The Duchess asked their collaboration in the writing of his famous memoirs, one of the most valuable works for the study of this crucial period in the history of France, ranging from the outbreak of the revolution (1789) to the monarchical restoration (1814).

While writing another less novel, Wann-Chlore (1825) - published under the false name of Auguste de Saint-Aubin-, made friends in Versailles with Zulma Carraud, another woman who would play a relevant role throughout his life, as a friend, counselor and epistolary correspondent. By that time, the sudden death of Laurence, his younger sister (onset on August 11 of that year of 1825), plunged it into a deep despair, exacerbated by the serious economic difficulties that crossed from its failure as a Publisher. Decided to take up this slack financial, with the monetary support of her family acquired, in 1826, a printing press and a patent of printer that allowed him to settle, along with his partner Barbier, in the Parisian rue de Marais Saint-Germain (the current rue Visconti), where only was able to generate debt. A year later, he/she sought new partners and bought a foundry of types (or printed characters) that greatly increased its disastrous chapter of losses; Finally, in 1828 was required a judicial settlement to address the sixty thousand francs owed by Balzac, whose printing press had declared in total bankruptcy. He/She decided, then, back to the culture of literary creation and, despite his ruin, had the support of his family and his friends to settle in a luxury apartment on the rue Cassini, where it is possible to receive discrete visits to her lover and protector, the Duchess of Abrantes, whose arm was seen by the main forums and artistic and intellectual cenacles of the Paris of the time.

After a brief stay in Fougères for gathering information about those chouans had fought that the army supplied by his father, at the end of the Decade of the 1920s was printing first novel published under the surname that would give universal fame. It is of Les chouans (the chouans, 1829) - signed by H. de Balzac-, centered on the revolt in the Vendée and received by readers without too much enthusiasm (as the rest of the novels had been published until then). However, in the course of that year - and after the death of Monsieur Balssá, occurred on 19 June - harvested his first big hit of sales with an essay entitled the physiologie du mariage (the physiology of marriage, 1829), published under the enigmatic authorship of "A young Bachelor". Sociological reflections stamped by Balzac in this piece, certainly advanced the mentality of his time, gave him a great notoriety in Parisian literary and artistic salons, and constituted the true starting point of her successful career as a professional writer. From then on, his signature appeared regularly in newspapers and magazines as widespread as Le Voleur, La Silhouette, La Mode, La Revue de Paris, La Revue des Deux Mondes and Le Feuilleton des Journaux.

In 1830, Balzac had become one of the most bustling and promising of the Parisian literary scene. Sparring regular in the famous room of the library of the Arsenal - meeting point of all the romantic authors, under the tutelage of its host, the Narrator Charles Nodier (1780-1844) - began to deploy a frantic literary activity, supported by prominent figures in the publishing world, as first fruits showed a series of short novels in the series that the author named "Scènes de la vie Privée" ("scenes from private life"). These novels that contributed mightily to the forging of his style and the consolidation of its prestige as a narrator, include the titled vendetta (1830), the dance of Sceaux (1830) and a double family (1830). By then he/she also published his first "philosophical tales", as "Two dreams" and "The elixir of long life"; but his first great success as a narrator came the following year, with the emergence of the novel La peau de chagrin (the skin of zapa, 1831), which was a real best-seller and earned him a juicy profit. Despite these gains, increasingly it was forced to devote more hours to writing, since he/she began to live surrounded by luxury, well above their means, and contracted onerous debts that, in the short term, would have put him in serious trouble.

That same year of 1831 date back to two other important projects of Balzac non-literature: the intention of marrying a wealthy heiress who could solve its economic problems hit, and the desire to enter politics and become, at least up to the Chamber of Deputies. Combining both of these objectives, in 1832 he/she joined the neolegitimista party of the Duc de Fitz-James, and fell in love with the niece of the Marquise de Castries, who had no problem in say with absolute clarity that it was not him. Still, meanwhile, publishing endlessly, ora already disseminated in periodicals - tales as "The executioner" (1831), "The outcasts" (1831) and "The unknown masterpiece" (1831)-, ora new narrations and stories as the curate of Tours (1832) and grotesque Tales (1832).

Coinciding with the disdain of the Marquise de Castries, Balzac received the first cards of another woman who would play a crucial role in his life: the Countess Hanska, resident in the castle of Wierzchownia (Ukraine). With this fervent admirer of his work met the following year in Switzerland (Neuchâtel and Geneva), in the midst of a frantic activity imposed by its excessive train of life, which had brought him a myriad of expenses, creditors and labor obligations that had to meet to go to paying off their debts. According to his own testimony, by the year of 1833 - where he/she published other bright narrations as Le medicin de campagne (country doctor) and Eugénie Grandet (Eugenia Grandet) - wrote relentlessly for seventeen hours a day. This mad and exhausting pace increased by the rough sentimental life carrying at the time, was not filed in his conception of narrative such an ambitious project as desmesurado: series of novels "Etudes de moeurs au XIXe siècle" ("customs in 19th century studies") - embryo of what would eventually be called "La Comédie Humaine" ("the comedy human") -with which was intended to provide a comprehensive description of the forms of life from their peers, as well as a kind of "natural history" or "general physiology of human destiny" (where it was proposed to describe the organic society as a living body functioning in question).

In December, 1834, when he/she was about to conclude a year which had led almost to exhaustion, Balzac ended one of his masterpieces, Pere Goriot (1834), in which, for the first time, applied the technique that would be fundamental in "The human comedy": the reappearance of characters. Since then, his novels began to be closely related to each other - it is true that each of them keeping their status as autonomous works, subject to independent readings-, and reconfiguring a dense and complex Web of characters and situations that eventually became this magnificent descriptive fresco of customs who wanted to draw the author.

At the end of the spring of that same year was born Marie du Fresnay, daughter of Marie Daminois, one of the mistresses of Balzac. Since the birth of small attributed his paternity to Balzac, who by that time had a new mistress, the Countess of Danjoux-Visconti. This busy love life not prevented him to continue writing with amazing dedication, immersed in a feverish activity that soon would undermine their health. Thus, after the publication of the search of the absolute (1834), began another series of novels entitled "Scenes from Parisian life", which included history of thirteen (1833-1834), in turn composed of three independent narratives (some of which had given to the press the previous year): I. Ferragus (1833), II. Don't touch the axe (1833-1834) - also known as the Duchess of Langeais-, and III. The girl of the eyes of gold (1834-1835).Not content with this absorbing installment to Scripture - that obliged him to an excessive intake of coffee, in order to stay awake for the about twenty hours a day which was then dedicated to literary creation-, in 1835 he/she acquired the Rotary La Chronique de Paris, from whose pages thought to print a final push to his ambitious political career. But, as in so many other businesses that had tried to put up throughout his life, he/she failed miserably in its management at the forefront of this newspaper, which had to be settled the following year, after having lost almost fifty thousand francs in as ruinous company. Meanwhile, he/she had had time to travel abroad - to visit the Countess of Hanska and be received in Vienna by Metternich (1773-1859), a great admirer of his work-; publish new stories - such as the contract of marriage (1835), Seraphita (1835), and Pere Goriot (1835), which had begun to appear the previous year in La Revue de Paris-; and raise suspicions about other possible parentage — Lionel-Richard Danjoux-Visconti, come into the world on May 20, 1836, after the notorious relationship of his mother with the writer. Freed, finally, of the economic and labor burden of La Chronique de Paris - where wrote a young promise of French letters, Théophile Gautier (1811-1872) - continued to travel throughout Europe and, after spending several weeks in Turin, returned to Paris to meet with the news of the death of Baroness de Berny, "Dilecta", which had been her first lover. Soon after, surprised the Parisian literary media with new, inaugurated by him, would become one of the most characteristic 19th century editorial practices: the publication of serials serials. Traditionally, considered his novel the spinster (1836), published in the pages of the daily La Presse, the starting point of these nineteenth-century literature. His creative fever led him to give to the printing press, in addition, in the course of that same year, the lily in the Valley (1836), the ban (1836) and the mass of the atheist (1836).

Despite the already huge number of works that had been put on sale, and that some of them had been acquired by many readers, his evil head in business and his habit of living far beyond their means forced him to take refuge, in the summer of 1837, Danjoux-Visconti Palace, after have been harassed by dozens of creditors on his return from another long stay in Italy. True to his incorrigible conduct of lousy administrator of its own goods, in September of that same year invested the profits from the sale of his books in the acquisition of "Les jardies", a luxurious mansion located between Sèvre and Ville-d'Avray, which should be installed in the summer of the following year (1838). Meanwhile, he/she published the first part of the lost illusions (1837) and César Birotteau (1837); He/She lived in Frapesle - in house Carraud- and Nohant - where went to visit the writer Amandine Lucie Aurore Dupin (1804-1876), best known by her male pseudonym of "George Sand"-; and he/she traveled again the Italian peninsula and the island of Sardinia (in the spring of 1838). That year they date their narrations superior women (1838), the Nucingen (1838) and La Torpille (1838), this last converted House then in the first part of the splendors and miseries of the courtesans.

It was already, at the time, one of the writers best known and respected throughout France, as demonstrated was in his election, beginning in 1839, as President of the Societé des Gens de Lettres (society of people of letters); However, there are built-in to the Académie Française, among other reasons because that same year withdrew his candidacy for the benefit of the of Victor Hugo (1802-1885) - who, by the way, was not elected. This unsuccessful attempt to join the roster of the "Immortals", which would accompany him for the rest of his life, was only the prelude to other adversities that were laid him up for that bad year of 1839, which spent in vain much of their energies in a barren campaign in favour of the notary Peytel, eventually executed for the murder of his wife and a servant. Misfortunes matters, its Beatrix novel, serialized in Le Siècle, rose the first signs of weariness among critics and readers, who started to blamed on Balzac a wrong Avenue verbal incontinence with the harmonic proportions of the soap opera. Put another way, his work began to appear neat and ragbag, defects which, from then on, would highlight hard all the detractors of his prose.

After the appearance of the Cabinet of antiquities (1839) and the reissue of a considerable part of their earlier stories - published by the famous editor Charpentier in fourteen volumes, Balzac regained his youth dramatic hobbies and premiered a theatrical piece in 1840. It's the drama Vautrin, whose representations were banned by censorship on the second day of its setting in scene. Tireless in their business initiatives, it not collapsed before this new setback and founded, in collaboration with his friend the journalist Dutacq, La Revue Française, whose first three numbers were written in its entirety by Balzac. As you might expect, this new business venture of the writer's Tours returned to constitute a resounding failure which plunged him again into the ruin, so its splendid property of "Les Jardies" was seized him. Installed, forcibly, in a much more modest House of rue Basse - in the neighborhood of Passy, abandoned their journalistic and theatrical whims and returned to the narrative genre with Pierrette (1840) and Pierre Gassou (1840); but he/she never went on to lose the illusion of triumph someday as a dramatist, something that neither got, at the end of two years, with the drama resources of trick (1842), whose premiere was a resounding failure.

The signing of the contract for which Balzac undertook to publish, conveniently organized under this pyramidal structure which had been named as "The human comedy", most of her narratives, reports between 1842 and 1848 in seventeen volumes, which then came to joining a posthumous Tome (1855) data of 1841. Meanwhile, continued increasing its enormous literary production with new prose of fiction as the village priest (1839-1841), Úrsula Mirouët (1841), a dark matter (1841) and Albert Savarus (1842), works whose writing combined with the drafting of that valuable "prologue", which placed itself at the forefront of "The human comedy", text essential for the study of the poetics of Balzac.

In the middle of 1843, Honoré de Balzac travelled to Petersburgo to meet the Countess Hanska, in an attempt to prepare a conjugal bond which, without a doubt, ending its unstable economic situation. In the beautiful Baltic city numerous tributes from recognition is paid him to his literary work, especially by the high society to which belonged the Countess; but this suspected interest that led to Balzac to marry was the need to escape from its many creditors, so it decided to delay the wedding. This new setback of fortune was accompanied by other troubles, such as the rejection of his candidacy for the Académie Française and evidence go missing literary reputation in France at a rapid pace, well evident in the circumstance that, by then, already was the author who had to go in search of the editors, when until recently were these which came to his house demanding her original. It didn't give up for it, and continued giving to the hollanders new works such as the third part of the lost illusions (1843), Honorine (1843) and the second part of the splendors and miseries of the courtesans (1843), which were followed, at the end of a year, Modeste Mignon (1844) and farmers (1844), two novels that went virtually unnoticed for criticism and readersin the midst of the overwhelming success of the wandering Jew (1844-1845), Eugène Sue (1804-1857) and the three Musketeers (1844), Dumas (1802-1870) father.

In full decadence, Balzac chose to focus fully on their vast project of "The human comedy", while throughout the year of 1845 he/she travelled extensively Europe, after having met in Dresden with the Countess Hanska and his daughter. The following year, he/she budded his old literary laurels with the publication of La cousin Bette (1846), which did much to French readers. Always subjected to the intense pace of work that had been imposed since his youth, that same year - prodigal in relevant events - he/she published the third part of its Splendors and miseries... (1846), as well as the first part of the back of contemporary history (1846). Remained at the same time, traveling regularly in the company of the Countess Hanska, who gave birth to a dead child that the couple thought to call Victor-Honoré in November of that year of 1846. In anticipation of their future marriage, Balzac - that had to be received by the Pope in Rome - bought a house in the rue Fortunee - now called rue Balzac-, where it spent a few months with his beloved early in 1847. Shortly thereafter, after a trip to Frankfurt, the writer began to feel seriously ill, suffering from heart problems derived from their frenetic pace of life.

Despite the seriousness of his medical condition - that advised him even the drafting of a will that named sole heir to the Countess Hanska-, continued to travel across Europe (in September 1847 he/she met her in Wierzchownia), wasting your winnings, Contracting many debts and writing new works that tried to deal with their high costsas the splendid novel cousin Pons (1847), a quarter of Splendors and miseries... (1847). in 1848, after the sacking of the Tuileries gardens and the proclamation of the Republic, it rejected, for health reasons, the proposal is filed as a candidate in the legislative elections, in a phase of life in which finally saw completed his old dream of succeeding in the scene, with the premiere of La madrastra (1848), work that it was greeted with jubilation by the drama critic. At the beginning of the autumn of that year, despite the serious coronary condition that suffered, he/she traveled to Ukraine to meet with the Countess widow of Hanska, and remained in Russia until the spring of 1850, immobilized on several occasions by different heart attacks. It did not, therefore, writing, and published during his stay in Ukraine new works, such as the Insider (1849) and the second part of the back of contemporary history (1849). Until those latitudes the vexing news of a new rejection of the Académie Française came to your application for admission.

Finally, the permission of the imperial authorities for the celebration of the marriage with the Countess Hanska, both held their betrothal in the Ukrainian town of Berdichev, a March 14, 1850. Soon after, the marriage returned to Paris on a painful journey that resulted in a sudden worsening of the coronary condition suffered by the writer, who, already in the gala capital, lost his life on the night of August 18, 1850, after having received the visit of his friend Victor Hugo. This was who, during the funeral of Balzac in Pere-Lachaise Cemetery, delivered an emotional funeral address in memory of the great writer disappeared.


Undisputed master of the art of narration, Balzac left an extensive and disproportionate novelistic production composed of nearly a hundred of narrations, which notably vigor in the layout of the characters of the characters (almost all of them obsessed by an idea or monothematic passion), the likelihood in the creation of environments and everyday situations (with special success in domestic) and a taste for vivid and detailed descriptions that contribute to emphasize that veracity features of the realistic aesthetic. Next to these undeniable virtues, his prose fiction also carries some neat and torrential, that exercise of writing own ballasts as structural chaos can be seen easily in some narrations drafted too hastily, the tendency to excessiveness in the description and the lack of control over the plot (which, at times, seems to make more progress due to the impulses of the own characters than a plan preconceived by the author).

Unable to offer a minimum overview on so great narrative legacy, should be send to the curious reader entries devoted specifically to the human comedy and lost illusions (1837-1843), which offer some of the most significant of the style and intent keys of Honoré de Balzac. Below, however, some notes about his most outstanding works, several of which are contained in its own right in all manuals and treaties of Universal literature.

Eugénie Grandet(1833)

It is one of the first literary successes of Honoré de Balzac, including then by the writer's Tours in the "Scenes from the life of provinces" section, which belongs in turn to the "Customs studies" section of "The human comedy". It tells the story of a young man who, along with his mother and the servant Nanon, lives in poverty due to the avarice of his father, the miserable Grandet, a wholesaler of Saumur which, despite having amassed a large fortune, subjected his family to the narrowness of most raw. Charles, the cousin of the virtuous and obedient Eugenie, is a Parisian gentleman who, after have been bankrupt due to the bad management of his father, arrives at Saumur in search of the protection of his uncle, and wake up the love of his young cousin, which until then had been rejecting the marriage of the most advantageous place parties proposals. The miserly father of Eugenie starts to work for the recovery of the fortune he/she lost his brother in Paris; Meanwhile, the protagonist of the story, head over heels in love with his cousin, offers to all their savings so you can go to America and recover there the high economic position that enjoyed in Paris. Charles then part for Indies, but not before promising to Eugénie that, upon his return, he/she will marry her.

Five years later, Eugenie has inherited the substantial estate from his miserly father, while Charles - whose father is also deceased - has managed to get rich in America. But the old Parisian dandy has forgotten his promise of marriage, to marry a young Aristocrat who ensures his social rise. Eugénie Grandet becomes the paradigm of disillusionment and disenchantment: accepts marriage which offers you the old Bonfons Cruchot if not exists between both sex, and, after her early widowhood, deviates from social life and devoted his entire fortune to the charities.

Father Goriot(1834)

The novel is also included in "Studies of customs" in "The human comedy", but in the section entitled "Scenes from private life". Presents from their first lines to three characters who live in the modest pension of Mme. Vauquer: the young Eugène de Rastignac, an ambitious student who is determined to fight against poverty to build a prosperous future; the mysterious Vautrin, whose unknown identity hidden figure - an outdoor at the end - of a jail escapee; and the old man and melancholic Goriot, constantly shattered by a torment that tries to hide from others. In the wake of his gradual approach to Goriot, the young Rastignac discovers the secret that haunts the old: has worked tirelessly throughout his life to ensure the comfort of Anastasie and Delphine, his two daughters, who, thanks to his efforts, has come to see married - respectively - with the Comte de Restaud and the baron de Nucingen. But, rather than thank him for everything he/she has done for them, women have abandoned in the miserable pension of Mme. Vauquer, and only come to him to remove what little is left. One day, in the course of a sour discussion with their daughters, father Goriot falls victim of a fulminating attack of apoplexy; in his agonizing delirium, imagine that Anastasie and Delphine are at the head of your bed at the last moment, when in reality only is accompanied by the young Eugène de Rastignac, as the two daughters of the dying person are actually in a Parisian salon where a dance is held. After giving his blessing to them are not but the product of his latest hallucinations, Goriot dies in the arms of Rastignac, who will be the only person who is present at his funeral; from the cemetery of Père-Lachaise, with the vast expanse of Paris before their eyes, Rastignac reflects on that high society which aims to be one day.

The cousin Bette(1846)

Novel belonging to "Scenes from Parisian life", also included in "Studies of customs" in "The human comedy". It describes the humiliating process of degradation and annihilation of the beautiful and charming Adeline Hulot, wife of baron Hector Hulot and d' Évry, a libertine unable to hold, after having married, the sexual instincts that led him to star in multiple love affairs in his youth. Always inspired by their natural goodness, Adeline Hulot has welcomed home its premium Lisbeth Fischer, a reclusive and little graceful peasant who, rather than thank the gesture of the Baroness, envy and resentment that, in his capacity as a poor relation, feel toward Adeline and her family has been increasing. Hidden behind the guise of humility and devotion, Lisbeth Fischer ("the Bette premium") has become a bitter spinster prematurely aging; a being spiteful and cunning that houses a heinous hate against those who, despite favouring it, they remind her involuntary but constantly their economic, social and cultural inferiority. To emphasize its resquemor, conde Steinbock, who is secretly in love with, marries Hortense, the young daughter of Hector and Adeline. Unable to bear so much resentment, decides that the time to take action and get both the dissolute baron with his young son-in-law fall seduced by the charms of the sinister Marneffe, a woman without scruples, who is capable of doing anything for money. Thanks to these dubious handling, "the cousin Bette" destroys the peace of mind of two marriages, but also their respective reputations and fortunes, in a desperate attempt to be equated to the count of Steinbock; but their final plans will not come to be fulfilled, then, after the horrific death of the greedy Marneffe, virulent tuberculosis access will also end with the life of the resentful Lisbeth. To the dessert, the victim of his machinations resulting worse stop is the sweet and kindly Adeline Hulot, who has seen destroyed his marriage and reputation, and is known to constantly humiliated by her lewd husband. Betrayed by everyone, the Baroness dies when his family has already managed to recover from the financial crisis which had sunk him the evil arts of cousin Bette; shortly after his death, the baron married Agathe, zafia Cook of the House.

The cousin Pons(1847)

Also included in the "scenes from Parisian life" (and) therefore, in "Studies of customs" in "The human comedy", this Balzac novel tells the story of Sylvain Pons, a mediocre conductor who cultivated the hobby of collecting antiques for years. Another of his passions is gluttony, so it always accepts invitations of his rich relatives, while these are pleased to humiliate him. One day, the protagonist falls seriously ill and is unable to leave home, where he/she receives visits by several relatives and friends who dazzled to discover the magnificent collection of antiques accumulated by Pons, who seems to ignore the commercial value of the rich parts that has accumulated. Little by little, the naive director of Orchestra goes opening her eyes and warning that it is surrounded by ambitious beings which, under the pretext of kinship and friendship, now regularly visit him hoping to inherit their valuable property. Determined to take revenge on all of them, named universal heir to all his possessions to his friend Schmucke German pianist, who, despite the last will of the ill-fated Sylvain Pons, allows that, after his death, his splendid collection of antiquities is plundered by those family members who, with their greed, have accelerated the death of the protagonist.