Synopses & Reviews
Four essential stories from the authentic pen of the age of Revolution, Consulate and Empire
Honore de Balzac was quite literally a child of the Napoleonic age. Born in 1799 he grew to be one of the most highly regarded French writers of any age and his works are acknowledged influences on several authors of renown who followed him including Zola, Flaubert, Henry James and even Jack Kerouac His most frequently referenced writer in the English language was, however, Charles Dickens. Those who are familiar with Balzac's work need no introduction to it here, but for those less familiar with it, this favourable comparison reveals that here was one who knew how to tell a good story filled with real, well crafted, rounded characters who are authentic to their age. This collection of Balzac's fiction contains only those stories which are set in the Napoleonic era itself. Having grown up in this period and having about him a plethora of living reference sources in the form of those who took an active part in it, these highly entertaining tales, combined with Balzac's own genius can be nothing other than pure reading pleasure. Several of Balzac's pieces have been filmed including some of those collected here.
The first story-a novel-is an adventure concerning 'The Chouans'-those who remained loyal to the French monarchy and who dared to rise against the government of Revolutionary France. In 'Juana' the reader is transported to the campaign in Spain where the French army under Suchet centres on Tarragona. 'An Episode under the Terror' tells-as the name suggests-a story from the time when all France cowered under the shadow of the guillotine, while in the final tale, 'The Napoleon of the People, ' the reader becomes the audience, as if by the fireside, of the recollections of a 'grumbler, ' a veteran of the Emperors legions who has his own story to relate
Available in soft cover and good quality hard back with dust jacket for collectors.