Segments in this Video

Honoré Balzac's Early Life (04:12)


Honoré Balzac was born in France in 1799. He had a difficult childhood, which he later drew on for inspiration for his writing. He eventually became a successful novelist.

Balzac's Career in Literature (05:16)

Balzac was a struggling writer who, in 1825, decided to give up writing and turn to business. He set up as a publisher, but his business failed. He was left with 50,000 francs of debt, which he would bear for the rest of his life.

Balzac's Career Beginnings (00:11)

Balzac is considered one of the fathers of realism. He was known for his detailed descriptions of characters and settings, as well as his social criticism.

Honoré de Balzac's Novels (04:51)

Honoré de Balzac's life was often troubled. His childhood was miserable. As an adult, he was afflicted by doubt, illness, and debt. But Balzac overcame these difficulties to create an amazing work of literature.

Balzac is Popular with Women (03:49)

Balzac was a great writer who was very popular with women readers. He wrote about women's lives in a way that was new and interesting to them. He also had many close female associates, which probably contributed to his popularity.

The 1830's: A Good Time for Balzac (05:05)

Balzac wrote about the human condition. He was heavily in debt, but his work was successful and established him as a major figure in French literature.

The Woman of His Dreams (02:03)

In 1832, Balzac met a woman he fell in love with, despite never having seen her. He was attracted to her for more than just her wealth.

Feminine Relationships (04:02)

Balzac had a passionate relationship with a woman he hardly ever saw.

La Comedie Humaine in Three Parts (05:27)

Balzac wrote a large comedy that documented French society at the time. He created a large number of characters and wove their stories together into one large tapestry. Many of his characters are introduced in one novel and reappear in another.

A Collection of Novels and Stories (03:01)

Balzac's La comedie humaine is a collection of novels and short stories that depict French society in the 19th century. It is a monumental achievement in its scope and diversity.

Fascination with Treasure (02:03)

Balzac was very successful, but also had money troubles.

Balzac Explores the Human Condition (02:18)

The Comedie Humaine is a collection of stories by Honoré de Balzac that depict the changing nature of the human condition and French society in the early 1800s. The stories are about the conflict between the emotional and material, and the effect of money on human society.

Money in Balzac's Novels (03:49)

Money in Balzac's novels is one of the main characters. All relationships are based on money.

Credits (00:43)


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Honoré de Balzac had a troubled life; afflicted by illness, women and debt, but overcame these difficulties to create an amazing work of literature entitled The Human Comedy. It was intended to consist of 143 separate novels, and although it was never completed, it was an unique achievement.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL210188

Copyright date: ©2006

Closed Captioned

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