Honoré de Balzac, a renowned French novelist and playwright, is known for his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society. Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature, and praised for his multifaceted characters, who are morally ambiguous.
The story of a French military hero of the Napoleonic Wars, long assumed to be dead, tries to recover his fortune and former wife through the help of a famous Parisian lawyer. Colonel Chabert, a Napoleonic War hero supposedly killed in the Battle of Eylau, returns to Paris after a long convalescence to find his wife remarried, and his pension gone. He employs a young, well-known lawyer to at least reclaim his pension. It is a game of wits: first to convince the lawyer that he is who he says he is; secondly to get his wife to admit to his identity and thereby give up some of her wealth. Once the lawyer believes Chabert's story, the wife must be made to part with his pension...
Balzac's Contes Drolatiques, published in three installments in the 1830s, offers a lively and lusty portrait of sixteenth-century French life and manners. These thirty stories in the tradition of Boccaccio, Chaucer, and Rabelais were claimed by the author to have originated in manuscripts from the abbeys of Touraine. Abounding in episodes of good-humored licentiousness, the tales scandalized Balzac's contemporaries and continue to delight modern readers.French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) was a founder of realism in European literature. An inspiration to Proust, Dickens, Faulkner, Dostoyevsky, and countless others, Balzac wrote works that were hailed for their multifaceted characters and exquisite attention to detail. This edition's excellent translation was the first to make Contes Drolatiques available to English-speaking readers.
Volume One is a collection of the following light-hearted stories, imitating the manner of Rabelais and other 16th-century story-tellers:<P> The Fair Imperia,<P> The Venial Sin,<P> How the good man Bruyn took a Wife,<P> How the Seneschal Struggled with his Wife's Modesty,<P> That Which is Only a Venial Sin,<P> How and by Whom the Said Child was Procured,<P> How the Said Love-Sin was Repented of and Led to Great Mourning,<P> The King's Sweetheart,<P> The Devil's Heir,<P> The Merrie Jests of King Louis the Eleventh,<P> The High Constable's Wife,<P> The Maid of Thilouse,<P> The Brother-in-Arms,<P> The Vicar of Azay-Le-Rideau, and<P> The Reproach.<P>
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