Cover image for Le Colonel Chabert
Le Colonel Chabert
Balzac, Honoré de, 1799-1850.
Publication Information:
Paris : Librairie générale française, 1994.
Physical Description:
188 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 18 cm.
General Note:
Le texte de ce volume a été établi d'après l'édition fac-similé des "Oeuvres complètesillustrées" de Balzac publiée par les Bibliophiles de l'Originale.
Added Author:
Format :


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Home Location
Central Library FRENCH FICTION Adult Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Foreign Language

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A vital part of Balzac's "La comedie humaine," this radiant novel recounts the story of a disenfranchised hero of the Napoleonic wars. Left for dead on the battlefield of Eylau, Colonel Chabert has spent years in an asylum as an amnesiac. The novel begins as he returns to the life he left behind only to discover that, in his absence, his entire life--family, society, identity--has changed. With Napoleon deposed, France's aristocracy has returned to power "as if the Revolution never occurred," and believing Chabert to be dead, his wife is now married to a count. Sickened by her pretense not to recognize him and by the titled society that spurns his former meritorious deeds, Chabert vows to recover both his money and his reputation. Honore de Balzac, one of the greatest writers of 19th-century France, is the author of "La comedie humaine," a monumental cycle of 91 interconnected novels.

Author Notes

Born on May 20, 1799, Honore de Balzac is considered one of the greatest French writers of all time. Balzac studied in Paris and worked as a law clerk while pursuing an unsuccessful career as an author. He soon accumulated enormous debts that haunted him most of his life.

A prolific writer, Balzac would often write for 14 to-16 hours at a time. His writing is marked by realistic portrayals of ordinary, but exaggerated characters and intricate detail. In 1834, Balzac began organizing his works into a collection called The Human Comedy, an attempt to group his novels to present a complete social history of France. Characters in this project reappeared throughout various volumes, which ultimately consisted of approximately 90 works. Some of his works include Cesar Birotteau, Le Cousin Pons, Seraphita, and Le Cousine Bette.

Balzac wed his lifelong love, Eveline Hanska in March 1850 although he was gravely ill at the time. Balzac died in August of that year.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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