Louis Lambert by Honoré de Balzac

Louis Lambert

This story opens with a dedication which translates to “Dedicated to the woman cherished now and always.” Louis Lambert is narrated by a college school mate of Louis’.

Louis was born in 1797 in the little town of Montoire, about 150 miles south of Paris. Louis’ father owned a small tannery and hoped Louis would grow up in the business. However, from an early age Louis was different. Continue reading


The Message by Honoré de Balzac

Le Message
The Message

A man relates a story which began as he was traveling from Paris to Moulins. He was on an outside seat from lack of funds. The gentleman sitting next to him was outside by choice. They began talking as travelers will and soon found out that they were both enamoured of an older married woman. The confidences knew no limits after that discovery and they tried to top each other with the pains to which they had gone to see their loves.

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Colonel Chabert by Honoré de Balzac

Le Colonel Chabert
Colonel Chabert

The novel opens with a humorous scene set in the office of Paris attorney Derville. The clerks are on a break which consists of eating a snack and throwing bread spitballs. Simonnin, an errand boy is described as a street urchin–and they are different in Paris than anywhere else on earth–ruthless, headstrong, impudent and lazy, yet helping to support his mother on his earnings of thirty or forty francs a month. He is making fun of a stranger he calls Old Greatcoat. It is Colonel Chabert. Godeschal wants to play a trick on the stranger whose knock is answered in unison by the five young clerks. Continue reading