Lost Illusions by Honore de Balzac

Lost Illusions

byHonore de BalzacTranslated byHerbert J. HuntIntroduction byHerbert J. Hunt

Paperback | October 28, 1976

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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.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

About The Author

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...

Details & Specs

Title:Lost IllusionsFormat: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.