Written in 1836, this is another of Balzac’s very short stories, but it’s one that reveals Balzac’s life as a writer. By day the narrator studied at the Biblioteque d’Oreans, but by night he watched the manners and customs of the people around him, gathering the stories that he would one day use to create his masterwork, La Comedie Humaine.
He was poor, but not quite as poor as his charwoman, who supplemented the family income by tending to his basic needs. Despite her poverty she and her husband were honest and hardworking, and he valued the relationship. When one day they invited him to her sister’s wedding, he decided to honour their friendship by attending, and while he was there, he met a most interesting man… (more…)