Lost Illusions

Paperback | October 28, 1976

byHonore de BalzacTranslated byHerbert J. HuntIntroduction byHerbert J. Hunt

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Handsome would-be poet Lucien Chardon is poor and naïve, but highly ambitious. Failing to make his name in his dull provincial hometown, he is taken up by a patroness, the captivating married woman Madame de Bargeton, and prepares to forge his way in the glamorous beau monde of Paris. But Lucien has entered a world far more dangerous than he realized, as Madame de Bargeton's reputation becomes compromised and the fickle, venomous denizens of the courts and salons conspire to keep him out of their ranks. Lucien eventually learns that, wherever he goes, talent counts for nothing in comparison to money, intrigue and unscrupulousness. Lost Illusions is one of the greatest novels in the rich procession of the Comédie humaine, Balzac's panoramic social and moral history of his times.

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From Our Editors

All that love-child Lucien Chardon inherited from his mother was her beauty. Honore de Balzac’s hero is a young provincial aspiring poet, whose forceful ambition is undermined by a feminine grace. Gifted, though vulnerable and inexperienced, he tries to infiltrate Paris’ captivating and capricious society. He soon learns that belie...

From the Publisher

Handsome would-be poet Lucien Chardon is poor and naïve, but highly ambitious. Failing to make his name in his dull provincial hometown, he is taken up by a patroness, the captivating married woman Madame de Bargeton, and prepares to forge his way in the glamorous beau monde of Paris. But Lucien has entered a world far more dangerous t...

From the Jacket

"Balzac [was] the master unequalled in the art of painting humanity as it exists in modern society," wrote George Sand. "He searched and dared everything." Written between 1837 and 1843, Lost Illusions reveals, perhaps better than any other of Balzac's ninety-two novels, the nature and scope of his genius. The story of Lucien Chardon, ...

The son of a civil servant, Honoré de Balzac was born in 1799 in Tours, France. After attending boarding school in Vendôme, he gravitated to Paris where he worked as a legal clerk and a hack writer, using various pseudonyms, often in collaboration with other writers. Balzac turned exclusively to fiction at the age of thirty and went on...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:704 pages, 9.2 × 6.5 × 2.7 inPublished:October 28, 1976Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140442510

ISBN - 13:9780140442519

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From Our Editors

All that love-child Lucien Chardon inherited from his mother was her beauty. Honore de Balzac’s hero is a young provincial aspiring poet, whose forceful ambition is undermined by a feminine grace. Gifted, though vulnerable and inexperienced, he tries to infiltrate Paris’ captivating and capricious society. He soon learns that believing in himself and following his dream is not enough. He understands little about human nature. One of the greatest novels in his Comedie Humaine, Lost Illusions expresses Balzac’s boredom with provincial life and scorn for Parisian society. Engaging and ambivalent, Balzac both derides and admires his main characters, blending satire with sympathy.