Lost Illusions: The Two Poets by Honoré de Balzac

Illusions Perdue: Les Deux Poètes
Lost Illusions: The Two Poets

 

We are back with one of Balzac’s major works, the Lost Illusions trilogy. The first of the three books, The Two Poets, is set in the old cathedral city of Angoulême in Southwest France.

The novel begins with an old printer named Jérôme-Nicolas Séchard who sets about selling his business to his young son David, who is just getting started in the profession. So that he can live comfortably and drink himself to death on his wines, the old man asks for an extortionate sum of 30,000 francs for the outdated equipment, to be paid over time from the profits of the enterprise. David unwisely accepts, knowing full well that he will be hard pressed to make his payments. Continue reading