Honore de Balzac

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The Magic Skin

by Honore de Balzac

Set in early 19th-century Paris, it tells the story of a young man who finds a magic piece of shagreen that fulfills his every desire. For each wish granted, however, the skin shrinks and consumes a portion...


Le Père Goriot

by Honore de Balzac

Le Père Goriot is widely considered Balzac's most important novel. This is the story of the relationship between a doting father and his two adult daughters. Blinded by his love for his children, Père Goriot...


Selected Short Stories (Dual-Language)

by Honore de Balzac

6 short-story masterpieces by great French novelist include "An Episode During the Terror," "A Passion in the Desert," "The Revolutionary Conscript," 3 more. Excellent new English translations on facing pages....


The Human Comedy: Selected Stories

by Honore de Balzac, Linda Asher & Peter Brooks

An NYRB Classics Original

Characters from every corner of society and all walks of life—lords and ladies, businessmen and military men, poor clerks,  unforgiving moneylenders, aspiring politicians, artists,...


Father Goriot

by Honore de Balzac

Pere Goriot' is the tragic story of a father whose obsessive love for his two daughters leads to his financial and personal ruin. Interwoven with this theme is that of the impoverished young aristocrat, Rastignac,...


The Marriage Contract

by Honore de Balzac

A Marriage Contract (French: Le Contrat de mariage) is an 1835 novel by French author Honoré de Balzac and included in the Scènes de la vie privée section of his novel sequence La Comédie humaine. Set in...


The Brotherhood of Consolation

by Honore de Balzac

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...


Eugenie Grandet

by Honore de Balzac

Depicting the fatal clash between material desires and the liberating power of human passions, Honore de Balzac's "Eugenie Grandet" is translated with an introduction by M.A. Crawford in "Penguin Classics"....


The Duchesse of Langeais

by Honore de Balzac

In The Duchesse of Langeais, Honore De Balzac tells us the story of an ill-fated love affair between a Parisian socialite and a Napoleonic war hero. The depth of character is astonishing and the writing superb....


Père Goriot

by Honore de Balzac & Ellen Marriage

This outstanding French realist novel contrasts the social progress of an impoverished but ambitious aristocrat with that of a father whose obsessive love leads to personal and financial ruin. "The modern King...


EUGENIE GRANDET

by Honore de Balzac

The five-foot-high Grandet allows his avaricious passion to thwart his daughter, Eugenie's, love in the classic work of social satire, carnal desire, greed, and obsession. 


The Girl with the Golden Eyes

by Honore de Balzac & Charlotte Mandell

When the night came, he went to the meeting-place, and quietly let himself be blindfolded.

Raw as Honoré de Balzac is famed to be, this daring novella—never before published as a stand-alone book—is perhaps...


Domestic Peace

by Honore de Balzac, Ellen Marriage & Clara Bell

From the "Scenes of Private Life" section of Honore de Balzac's great masterwork The Human Comedy, this novella is set at a grand ball at the height of the Napoleonic era. The usual suspects from the city's...


A Drama on the Seashore

by Honore de Balzac & Katharine Prescott Wormeley

This short section of Honore de Balzac's vast story cycle The Human Comedy unfolds against the beautiful backdrop of the western coast of France. A couple on vacation have a chance encounter with a fisherman....


The Elixir of Life

by Honore de Balzac, Clara Bell & James Waring

Some of the short stories in the Philosophical Studies section of Honore de Balzac's The Human Comedy have hints of the mystical and supernatural. These elements are very pronounced in the spine-chilling tale...


A Distinguished Provincial at Paris

by Honore de Balzac & Ellen Marriage

The novel A Distinguished Provincial at Paris is the second volume of Honore de Balzac's Lost Illusions trilogy. In it, Balzac masterfully revisits one of his most commonly called-upon themes: the harsh realization...


Eve and David

by Honore de Balzac & Ellen Marriage

The novel Eve and David is the third entry in Honore de Balzac's Lost Illusions trilogy, which in turn is part of his larger novel cycle, The Human Comedy. The story focuses on a pair of earnest, good-hearted...


The Exiles

by Honore de Balzac, Clara Bell & James Waring

Though Honore de Balzac is now lauded as a master of the literary genre of social realism, a sizable number of his stories and novels also contain supernatural and mystical elements. The story "The Exiles" is...


Facino Cane

by Honore de Balzac & Clara Bell

The short story "Facino Cane" has been categorized as both a "Philosophical Study" and a "Scene of Paris Life" in various editions of French writer Honore de Balzac's sprawling series The Human Comedy. The narrator...


An Episode Under the Terror

by Honore de Balzac & Clara Bell

Set in the aftermath of the French Revolution, this short story from the Scenes of Political Life section of Honore de Balzac's The Human Comedy immerses readers in the terrifying tumult of the period. Brimming...