Description - Le Colonel Chabert by Honore de Balzac
Colonel Chabert, a Napoleonic War hero supposedly killed in the Battle of Eylau, returns to Paris after a long convalescence to find his wife remarried, and his pension gone. He employs a young, well-known lawyer to at least reclaim his pension. It is a game of wits: first to convince the lawyer that he is who he says he is; secondly to get his wife to admit to his identity and thereby give up some of her wealth. Once the lawyer believes Chabert's story, the wife must be made to part with his pension...
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(203mm x 132mm x 7mm)
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
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Other Editions - Le Colonel Chabert by Honore de Balzac
Book Reviews - Le Colonel Chabert by Honore de Balzac
US Kirkus Review »
Originally published in 1832 as part of its author's "Scenes from Private Life," this energetic novella offers a virtually perfect introduction to Balzac's teeming Comedie Humaine: a vast fictional canvas on which professional men, peasants, whores, and members of the aristocracy, clergy, and military service memorably intermingle and influence one another's destinies. The blunt tale describes its eponymous hero's return home from the Napoleonic Wars (in which he is believed to have perished) and frustrated dealings with his remarried wife and a battalion of lawyers (the primary objects of several heavily satirical broadsides) who deny all his claims, provoking the haunting question "Are the dead wrong to come to life again?" Both Balzac's infuriating digressiveness and his matchless grasp of the individual submerged in, and overwhelmed by, society are vividly present in this strongly imagined and affecting story. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Honore de Balzac
Honore de Balzac (1799-1850), born in Tours, ranks among the great masters of the novel. In 1816, he began studying law at the Sorbonne, but after receiving his license in 1819 he decided to abandon it for literature. By the time of his death, he had written over one hundred novels, novellas, and plays, many of them part of his greatest work, La Comedie humaine -- a reproduction of the French society of his time, picturing in precise detail more than 2,000 characters from every class and every profession. Carol Cosman has translated works by Albert Camus and Rene Daumal, among others.