Welcome to La Comédie Humaine by Honoré de Balzac

Welcome to all who enjoy the works of Honore de Balzac!
The Balzac Yahoo group was created in honor of the bicentennial of Balzac’s birth, and is reading La Comedie Humaine! This site is a space for us to share summaries and other information as we read.
For more information contact balzac-owner@yahoogroups.com or visit the group here

7 comments on “Welcome to La Comédie Humaine by Honoré de Balzac

  1. Tom C says:

    As a newbie to The Human Comedy (I’ve just read Pere Goriot) where do I go next? Any advice gratefully received. English translations only please!


  2. Hi, Tom. Love your site, “A Common Reader”. Guy couldn’t have given you a better recommendation than to begin with the cornerstone of the Comedie Humaine, Pere Goriot.

    Where next? Depends if you can spare the time to read the entire work or just want to hit the highlights of a half dozen or so.

    The Balzac Group at Yahoo
    are reading them in chronological order according to the storyline as set out in Royce’s book. You can find out the order, etc by looking in the files there.

    Otherwise, the “biggies” are probably Lost Illusions, Cousine Bette, The Black Sheep and possible La Peau de Chagrin. Others may have a different list, lol!


  3. Tom C says:

    Thanks for the advice. My reading schedule is too heavy to read them all so I’ll take a look at the titles you mention above. I shall revisit this site for further assistance!


  4. I thought from your site that would be the case, Tom.

    I do have one more to add. First a clarification: Lost Illusions is actually a trilogy packaged under the title “Lost Illusions”. There is a fourth book that follows immediately upon that action: Scenes from a Courtesan’s Life–or translated at times by the non-appealing title of A Harlot High and Low.


  5. Tom C says:

    Thanks for that. I’m currently reading a modern 800 page novel, so length of a book doesn’t phase me too much. Balzac is definitely on my TBR pile now!


  6. Liz says:

    Does anyone know where can I buy hard back editions of this volume 21 and 23??


    • I would try eBay or one of the search sites that lists multiple bookstores. You’ll need to know the titles because volumes are numbered differently and even organized differently in various editions.


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