Synopses & Reviews
From the great French novelist comes this long-unavailable collection of tales in the tradition of Boccaccios Decameron.
Balzacs Contes Drolatiques, or Droll Stories, were originally published in three volumes in the 1830s. Set in medieval Europe, these stories were Balzacs attempt to write in the great tradition of Rabelais and Boccaccio, to render the Middle Ages with a touch of raunchy humor, and to provide a delightful portrait of medieval France. Balzac took the old themes that had delighted his ancestorsthe tales of faithless wives and confiding husbands, of monks incredibly endowed for amorous athleticism, of lusty wenches and adventurous lads, and of great bouts of eating and drinking.
Droll Stories has always been an essential part of Balzacs work when published in French, but it has been excluded from the definitive English editions. This book presents all three volumes of this classic and enduring work.
"One is nearer to understanding the great writers of the ancient world if one understands them as Balzac did." Marcel Proust
"[Balzac] is himself a figure more extraordinary than any he drew." Henry James
One of the first among the greatest, one of the highest among the best
He ransacked vice, he dissected passion.”
About the Author
Honoré de Balzac
was born in 1799 in France. As a novelist and playwright, he is widely regarded as the founder of realism in European literature. His work had a profound effect on generations of writers who have followed him, from Proust to Dickens to Faulkner to Kerouac. He is best known for his La Comédie humaine
, a multivolume collection of linked novels and stories. He died in 1850 in Paris at the age of fifty-one.