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Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) - Original name Honoré Balssa

 

French journalist and writer, one of the creators of realism in literature. Balzac's huge production of novels and short stories are collected under the name La Comédie humaine, which originated from Dante's The Divine Comedy. Before his breakthrough as an author, Balzac wrote without success several plays and novels under different pseudonyms. Despite prolific output and large incomes, Balzac was constantly in debt.

"...Well, Balzac was politically a legitimist; his great work is a constant elegy on the irreparable decay of good society; his sympathies are with the class that is doomed to extinction. But for all that, his satire is never keener, his irony never more bitter, than when he sets in motion the very men and women with whom he sympathizes most deeply  the nobles..." (Friedrich Engels in 1888)

Honoré de Balzac was born in Tours. His father, Bernard-François Balssa, named his son after St Honoré whose day had just been celebrated. He had risen to the middle class, and married in 1797 the daughter of his Parisian superior, Anne-Charlotte-Laure Sallambier; she was 31 years his junior. The marriage was arranged by her father. Bernard-François had worked as a state prosecutor and Secretary to the King's Council in Paris. During the French Revolution, he was a member of the Commune, but was transferred to Tours in 1795 because of helping his former royalist protectors. Bernard-François felt at home in the land of Rabelais, and started energetically to run the local hospital. In 1814 the family moved back to Paris.

Balzac spent the first four years of life in foster care, not so uncommon a practice in France even in the 20th century. From the village of Saint-Cyr, he returned to his parents at the age of four. Balzac was an ordinary pupil at school. He studied at the Collège de Vendôme and the Sorbonne, and then worked in law offices. In 1819, when his family moved for financial reasons to the small town of Villeparisis, Balzac announced that he wanted to be a writer. He returned to Paris and was installed in a shabby room at 9 rue Lediguiéres, near the Bibliothéque de l'Arsenal. A few years later he described the place in La Peau de chagrin (1831), a fantastic tale owing much to E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822). Balzac's first work was Cromwell. The tragedy in verse made the whole family dispirited. Towards the end of his career his attention turned to drama again, but this time his plays, such as Vautrin (1840) and La Marâtre (1848), were well received by the critics.

By 1822 Balzac had produced several novels under pseudonyms, but he was ignored as a writer. Against his family's hopes, Balzac continued his career in literature, believing that the simplest road to success was writing. Unfortunately, he also tried his skills in business. Balzac ran a publishing company and he bought a printing house, which did not have much to print. When these commercial activities failed, Balzac was left with a heavy burden of debt. It plagued him to the end of his career. "All happiness depends on courage and work," Balzac once said. "I have had many periods of wretchedness, but with energy and above all with illusions, I pulled through them all."

After the period of failures, Balzac was 29 years old, and his efforts had been fruitless. Accepting the hospitality of General de Pommereul, he spent a short time at their home in Fougères in Brittany in search of a local color for his new novel. In 1829 appeared  Le dernier Chouan (later called Les Chouans), a historical work in the manner of Sir Walter Scott, which he wrote under his own name. Gradually Balzac began to gain notice as an author. Between the years 1830 and 1832 he composed six novelettes titled Scènes de la vie privée. The work, addressed more or less to a female readership, was first published in La Presse.

The Contes drolatiques (1832-37, Droll Stories), a collection of stories written in the bawdy style of Rabelais, was labeled as pornographic, and added to the Index librorum prohibitorum in 1841. The topics of the stories range from necrophilia to nymphomania, and adultery to the bodily functions. Droll Stories was banned in Ireland in 1953. 

Madame Balzac was interested in the writings of mystics. When she miraculously recovered from an illness, Balzac started to study the works of Jacob Boehme, Swedenborg, and followed Anton Mesmer's lectures about 'animal magnetism' at Sorbonne. These influences are seen in La peau de chargin, in which the hero character uses magical powers to gain success. The 'philosophical' novel brought Balzac about 5,000 francs.

In 1833 Balzac conceived the idea of linking together his old novels so that they would comprehend the whole society in a series of books. This plan eventually led to 90 novels and novellas, which included more than 2,000 characters. Balzac's huge and ambitious plan drew a picture of the customs, atmosphere, and habits of the bourgeois France. Balzac got down to the work with great energy, but also found time to pile up huge debts and fail in hopeless financial operations. "I am not deep," the author once said, "but very wide." Once he developed a plan to gain success in raising pineapples at his home at Ville d'Avray (Sevres). After two years, he had to flee from his creditors and conceal his identity under the name of his housekeeper, Madame de Brugnolle.

In the 'Avant-propos' to The Human Comedy (1842) Balzac compares theories of the animal kingdom and human society. "Does not Society make of man, according to the milieu in which his activity takes places, as many different men as there are varieties in zoology?" Like the French naturalist Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Balzac sees that human life and human customs are more multifarious and there are dramatic conflicts in love which seldom occur among animals.

Among the masterpieces of The Human Comedy are Le Père Goriot, Les Illusions perdues, Les Paysans, La Femme de trente ans, and Eugénie Grandet. In these books Balzac covered a world from Paris to Provinces. The primary landscape is Paris, with its old aristocracy, new financial wealth, middle-class trade, demi-monde, professionals, servants, young intellectuals, clerks, criminals... This social mosaic included recurrent characters, such as Eugène Rastignac, who comes from an impoverished provincial family to Paris, mixes with the nobility, pursues wealth, has many mistresses, gambles, and has a successful political career. Henry de Marsay appeared in twenty-five different novels. There are many anecdotes about Balzac's relationship to his characters, who also lived in the author's imagination outside the novels. Once Balzac interrupted one of his friends, who was telling about his sister's illness, by saying: "That's all very well, but let's get back to reality: to whom are we going to marry Eugénie Grandet?"

"Balzac himself always speaks of his characters as of natural phenomena, and when he wants to describe his artistic intentions, he never speaks of his psychology, but always of his sociology, of his natural history of society and of the function of the individual in the life of the social body. He became, anyhow, the master of the social novel, if not as the 'doctor of the social sciences', as he described himself, yet as the founder of the new conception of man, according to which 'the individual exists only in relation to society'." (Arnold Hauser in Social History of Art, Vol. 4, 1962)

Le Père Goriot (1835), originally published in the Revue de Paris in 1834, appeared in book form in 1835. The story is an adaptation of Shakespeare's play King Lear, a pessimistic study of bourgeois society's ills after the French Revolution. It tells the intertwined stories of Eugène de Rastignac, an ambitious but penniless young man, and old Goriot, a father who sacrifices everything for his children. His daughters Anastaria and Delphine are married into a rich family. They are ashamed of their father and visit him only to ask for money. Rastignac falls in love with Delphine. Goriot has gradually lost all his money, not having enough for even a proper burial. On his death bed Goriot learns about his daughters' egoism – they don't come to see him. Admitting his own guilt, Goriot forgives his daughters. Rastignac pays the expenses of the burial. Goriot's coffin is followed by the empty luxurious carriages of the daughters. Balzac describes lovingly the topography of Paris, his Muse. The city is one of the characters, and has a language and will of its own: "Left alone, Rastignac walked a few steps to the highest part of the cemetery, and saw Paris spread out below on both banks of the winding Seine. Lights were beginning to twinkle here and there. His gaze fixed almost avidly upon the space that lay between the column of the Place Vendôme and the dome of the Invalides; there lay the splendid world that he wished to conquer." (from Old Goriot, 1835)

Balzac worked often in Saché, near Tours, although a great part of his work was done in Paris. From 1828-36 he lived at 1 rue Cassini, near the Observatory, on the edge of the city. In 1847 he moved to the Rue Fortunée. Balzac used to energetically write 14 to 16 hours daily, drinking large amounts of specially blended Parisian coffee. After supper he slept some hours, woke up at midnight and wrote until morning. Despite his devotion to his art, Balzac had time for affairs and he enjoyed life. It is told that Balzac once devoured first 100 oysters, and then 12 lamb chops with vegetables and fruits. The characters of his books appreciate good food, too.

La Cousine Bette (1846) contained thinly veiled autobiographical elements of the author's love affairs. In the story a spinster, Cousin Bette, tries to gain revenge for all her disappointments against her family and the beautiful courtesan Valerie Marneffe. The aristocratic Baron Hulot d'Evry, whom Bette had wanted to marry, had married her cousin, Adeline. She also loses her new love, Count Wenceslas Steinbock, to Baron Hulot's daughter. Valerie seduces Hulot, who has several mistresses, and Steinbock. After some financial troubles Hulot escapes into the slums, where Adeline finds him. Bette falls ill with pneumonia and dies. Hulot continues his affairs with a cook, and finally marries the cook's apprentice.

Gervais Charpentier published the best novels of Balzac in a new format, the octodecimo "jésus" – it was much cheaper than the traditional octavo volume. Balzac lived mostly in his villa in Sèvres during his later years. Close to his heart was Madame de Berny, far his senior; her death came as a deep blow to the author. With Eveline Hanska, a rich Polish lady, Balzac corresponded for more than 15 years. The correspondence started in 1832. Eveline Hanska posed as a model for some of his feminine portraits (Madame Hulot in La Cousine Bette). "I cannot put two ideas together that you don't come between them," Balzac wrote in a letter to her.

In the spring of 1837, Balzac went to Italy to recuperate, and to see the bust of Madame Hanska, made by Bartolini. He also asked her permission to have a copy of it, half size, made for himself. In October 1848 Balzac travelled to Ukraine. Madame Hanska's husband had died in 1841 and Balzac could now stay with her a longer time. His health had already broken down, but they were married in March 1850. "Three days ago I married the only woman I have ever loved," Balzac wrote in a letter to a friend, forgetting other women in his life. He returned with his newly wed wife to Paris, where he died on August 18, 1850. At his funeral Victor Hugo delivered an address, saying: "Today we see him at peace. He has escaped from controversies and enmities..... Henceforward he will shine far above all those clouds which float over our heads, among the brightest stars of his native land."

For further reading: Balzac's Omelette by Anka Muhlstein (2011); Balzac, ed. by Michael Tilby (1995); Balzac: A Life by Graham Robb (1994); Critical Essays on Honore de Balzac by Martin Kanes (1990); Honore de Balzac by Theophile Gautier (1989, paparback); Honore de Balzac: Old Goriot by David Bellos (1988); Balzac and the Drama of Perspective by Joan Dargan (1985); Balzac and the French Revolution by Ronnie Butler (1983); Balzac, James, and the Realistic Novel by William W. Stowe (1983); Balzac's Comedy of Words by Martin Kanes (1978); Evolution of Balzac's 'Commedie Humaine' by E. Preston Dargan (1942); Balzac by E.R. Curtius (1933); Women in the Life of Balzac by Juanita Helm Floyd (1921). See also: Stefan Zweig, Isaiah Berlin, Andre Maurois: Prometheus: The Life of Balzac (1965).  Note: TV film about Balzac's life (1999), starring Gérard Depardieu as the author, Jeanne Moreau as Balzac's mother, and Fanny Ardant as Eveline Hanska.  Museums: Musée Balzac, Château de Saché, 37190 Saché, Indre et Loire a sixteenth century castle, devoted to the author who lived there between 1829 and 1837; La maison de Balzac, 47 rue Raynourd, Chaillot Quarter - Balzac lived there for seven years.  Other writers born on May 20, on the same day as Honoré de Balzac: William Michaelian, Sigrid Undset.

Selected works:

  • L'Héritière de Birague, 1822 (with Le Poitevin de Saint-Alme and Etienne Arago)
  • Jean Louis; ou, La fille trouvée, 1822 (with Le Poitevin de Saint-Alme)
  • Clotilde de Lusignan; ou, Le beau juif, 1822
  • Le Centenaire ou les Deux Beringheld, 1822 (as Le Sorcier, in Oeuvres complètes de Horace de Saint-Aubin, 1837)
    - The Centenarian: or, The Two Beringhelds (translated from the original 1822 French ed. by George Edgar Slusser, 1976)
  • Le Vicaire des Ardennes, 1822
  • La dernière fée; ou, La nouvelle lampe merveilleuse, 1823
    - The Last Fay (translated by Eric H. du Plessis, 1996)
  • Du droit d'ainesse, 1824
  • Histoire impartiale des Jésuites, 1824
  • Annette et le criminel, 1824
  • Code des gens honnêtes; ou, L'art de ne pas être dupe des fripons, 1825
  • Wann-Chlore, 1825 (as Jane la pâle, in Oeuvres complètes, 1836)
    - Wann-Chlore (1825) (translated from the French, with notes, by Eric H. Du Plessis, 2005)
  • Oeuvres complètes de La Fontaine, 1826 (editor)
  • Oeuvres complétes de Molière, 1826 (editor)
  • Le dernier Chouan, ou Bretagne 1800, 1829 (rev. ed. as Les Chouans; ou, Le Bretagne en 1799, as Le Chouan, 1838; Scènes de la vie politique)
    - The Chouans (tr. in La comédie humaine, Vol. 20, c.1896; translated by Ellen Marriage, in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 29, 1901; Herbert J. Hunt, 1959; Marion Ayton Crawford, 1972)
    - Kapina (suom. Jalmari Hahl, 1917)
    - films: Les Chouans, 1947, dir. Henri Calef, adaptation Pierre Brive, Charles Spaak
  • Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de la Révolution française, 1829 (with Lheritier de l'Ain)
  • Physiologie du mariage, ou, Méditations de philosophie éclectique, 1829 (Études analytiques)
    - The Physiology of Marriage (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré Balzac, Vol. 33, 1901)
  • Petites misères de la vie conjugale, 1830, 1840, 1845
    - The Petty Annoyances of Married Life (translated by O.W. Wight and F.B. Goodrich, 1861) / Petty Troubles of Married Life (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré Balzac, Vol. 33, 1901
  • Un épisode sous la Terreur, 1830 (Scènes de la vie politique)
    - An Episode Under the Terror (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 32, 1901)
  • La Maison du chat-qui-pelote, 1830 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - At the Sign of the Cat and Racket (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 7, 1901)
  • La Vendetta, 1830 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - Vendetta (tr. c.1864; translated by Katherine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 4, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 18, 1901; Howard Curtis, 2008)
    - Verikosto (suom. Lauri Laiho, 1919)
  • Le Bal de Sceaux, 1830 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - The Ball at Sceaux (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 7, 1901)
  • Une double famille, 1830 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - A Second Home (tr. 1845; translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré Balzac, Vol. 11, 1901) / A Double Family (tr. 1897)
  • La Paix du ménage, 1830 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - Domestic Peace (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 5, 1901) / Domestic Peace, and Other Stories (translated by Marion Ayton, 1958)
  • Étude de femme, 1830 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - Study of a Woman (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 5, 1896) / A Study of a Woman and Comedies of the Counter (translated by George Milburn, 1926)
  • Gobseck, 1830 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - Gobseck (translated by Katherine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 12, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 10, 1901)
    - Herra Gobseck (suom. Rauni Puranen, 1982)
    - films: 1937, dir.  Konstantin Eggert, adaptation by Konstantin Eggert, Oleg Leonidov, starring Leonid Leonidov; 1987, dir. Aleksandr Orlov, starring Vladimir Tatosov
  • Adieu, 1830
    - Adieu (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in  The Comedy of Human Life, Vol. 31, 1896)
  • El Verdugo, 1830
    - El Verdugo (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 31, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 2, 1901)
    - films: Der Henker, 1920, dir. August Weigert, adaptation J.M. Burkhardt- Benndorf; 1948, dir. Enrique Gómez, prod. Olimpia Films
  • L'Élixir de longue vie, 1830
    - The Elixir of Life (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 31, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 4, 1901)
  • Une fille d'Ève, 1830-39 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - A Daughter of Eve (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley,  La comédie humaine, Vol. 4, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 9, 1901)
  • Une passion dans le désert, 1830 (Scènes de la vie politique)
    - A Passion in the Desert (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 20, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 29, 1901; Ernest Dowson, 1998) / Sarrasine; and, A Passion in the Desert  (translated by David Carter, 2007)
    - film 1997, dir.  Lavinia Currier, starring Ben Daniels, Michel Piccoli, Paul Meston, Nadia Odeh, Kenneth Collard
  • La Peau de chagrin, 1831
    - The Magic Skin (tr. 1888; translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, La comédie humaine, Vol. 27, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 1, 1901) / The Wild Ass's Skin (in Human Comedy, 1895-98) / Wild Ass's Skin (translated by Herbert J. Hunt, 1977) / The Fatal Skin (translated by Atwood H. Townsend, 2008)
    - Taikatalja (suom. 1934)
    - films: 1909, dir. Albert Capellani, prod. Pathé Frères; The Magic Skin, dir. Richard Ridgely, prod. Edison Company; Narayana 1920, dir. Léon Poirier, prod. Gaumont Série Pax; The Dream Cheater, 1920, dir. Ernest C. Warde, adapttion Jack Cunningham, prod. Robert Brunton Productions; Slave of Desire, 1923, dir. George D. Baker, starring George Walsh, Bessie Love, Carmel Myers, prod. Goldwyn Pictures Corporation; La Piel de Zapa, dir. Luis Bayón Herrera, prod. EFA; short film 1960 (9 min), dir. Vlado Kristl; TV film 1980, dir. Michel Favart, adaptation Armand Lanoux
  • Sarrasine, 1831 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - Sarrasine (tr. George Burnham Ives, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 33, c.1909; translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 32, 1901) / Sarrasine; and, A Passion in the Desert  (translated by David Carter, 2007)
  • Jésus-Christ en Flandres, 1831
    - Jesus Christ in Flanders (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 29. c. 1896)  / Christ in Flanders (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in Works, Vol. 16, 1901) / Christ in Flanders and Other Stories (tr. 1931)
  • Le Chef-d'œuvre inconnu, 1831
    - The Hidden Masterpiece (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 27, c.1896) / The Unknown Masterpiece (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 2, 1901; Michael Neff, 1984; Charles Hobson, 1993;  Richard Howard, 2001)
    - Tuntematon mestariteos ja muita novelleja (suomentanut Virpi Hämeen-Anttila, 2002)
    - films: Mr. Frenhofer and the Minotaur, 1949 (short film), dir. Sidney Peterson; Divertimento, 1991, dir. Jacques Rivette, starring Michel Piccoli, Jane Birkin, Emmanuelle Béart, Marianne Denicourt ; La Belle noiseuse, 1991, dir. Jacques Rivette, starring Michel Piccoli, Jane Birkin, Emmanuelle Béart
  • Le Réquisitionnaire, 1831
  • Les Deux rêves, 1831
    - The Two Brothers (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, 1887; in La comédie humaine, Vol. 8, c.1896)
  • Maître Cornélius; L’Auberge rouge, 1831
    - Maitre Cornelius (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 31, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 4, 1901)
  • Les Proscrits, 1831
    - The Exiles (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 4, 1901)
  • Mémoires de madame la duchesse d'Abrantès, 1831 (vol. 1., with the duchess)
  • Sur Catherine de Médicis, 1831-41
    - Catherine de Midici (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 27, c.1896) / About Catherine de Medici and Other Stories (tr. 1898) / Farewell About Catherine de Medici (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 2, 1901
  • La femme de trente ans, 1831-44 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - Woman of Thirty (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 10, 1901; George Burnham Ives, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 32, c.1909)
    - Keski-ikäinen nainen (suom. 1907-1910)
  • Contes bruns, 1832 (with Philarète Chasles and Charles Rabou)
  • Le Salmigondis, contes de toutes les couleurs, 1832 (as Comtesse à deux maris, in Scénes de la vie privée, 1835; Le Colonel Chabert, in Comédie humaine, 1844)
    - Colonel Chabert (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 3, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 18, 1901; Carol Cosman, 1997)
  • Nouveaux contes philosophiques, 1832
  • La Bourse, 1832 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - The Purse, and Albert Savarus (translated by H.H. Walker, 1883)  / The Purse; A Comedy in Two Acts (tr. 1887) / The Purse (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 3, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 7, 1901 )
  • Le Curé de Tours, 1832 (Scènes de la vie de province)
    - Eugénie Grandet (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 7, c.1896) / The Vicar of Tours (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 7, 1901) / Eugenie Grandet, and The Curé of Tours (translated by Merloyd Lawrence, 1964) / Eugénie Grandet (translated by Sylvia Raphael, 2009)  
    - Toursin kirkkoherra (suom. Kauko Kare, 1960)
  • Le Colonel Chabert, 1832 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - Colonel Chabert (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 3, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 18, 1901; Carol Cosman, 1997)
    - Eversti Chabert (suomentanut Huvi Vuorinen, 1918)
    - films: 1911, dir. André Calmettes, Henri Pouctal 1943, dir. René Le Hénaff, adaptation by Pierre Benoît, starring Raimu; Kolonel Chabert, TV film 1961, dir. Tone Brulin, prod. N.I.R.; Oberst Chabert, TV film 1967, dir. Ludwig Cremer; 1994, dir. Yves Angelo, starring Gérard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant
  • Madame Firmiani, 1832 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - Madame Firmiani (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 5, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 7, 1901 )
  • Le Message, 1832 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - The Message (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 5, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 10, 1901 )
  • L’Auberge rouge, 1832
    - The Red Inn translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley,  in La comédie humaine, Vol. 31, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 6, 1901 )
    - films: 1910, dir. Camille de Morlhon, prod. Pathé Frères; 1923, dir. Jean Epstein, starring Léon Mathot, Gina Manès, Jean-David Évremond, Pierre Hot, prod. Pathé Frères; 1951, dir. Claude Autant-Lara, starring Fernandel, Françoise Rosay, Marie-Claire Olivia, Jean-Roger Caussimon, Nane Germon
  • La Femme abandonnée, 1832 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - The Deserted Woman (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 3, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 10, 1901 )
  • Les Marana, 1832
    - The Maranas (translated by George Burnham Ives, in The Human Comedy: Philosophic and Analytic Studies, Vol. 3, 1899;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 2, 1901 ) 
  • Voyage de Paris à Java, 1832
    - My Journey from Paris to Java  (translated by Barry Winkleman, 2010)
  • Louis Lambert, 1832/1833
    - Louis Lambert (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 29, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 4, 1901 )
  • Les Cent Contes drolatiques, 1832-37
    - Balzac’s Contes Drolatiques; Droll Stories Collected from the Abbeys of Touraine (2 vols., tr. 1874) / Nine Tales from the Contes Drolatiques of Honoré de Balzac (translated by Robert Crawford, 1921) / Droll Stories; Collected in the Monasteries of Touraine and Given to the Light by Honoré de Balzac (2 vols., translated by Alec Brown, 1967) / Droll Stories (translated by J. Lewis May, 1978)  
    - Anteeksi annettava synti (suom. Arvi Nuormaa, 1932) / Leikillisiä tarinoita (suom. 1946; Yrjö Kivimies ja Kauko Kare, 1961) / Kaunis Imperia (suom. 1947)
  • e Médecin de campagne, 1833 (Scènes de la vie de campagne; excerpt, as Histoire de Napoléon, 1833)
    - The Country Doctor (tr. 1887; translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 24, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 18, 1901 )
  • La Grenadière, 1833
    - La Grenadiere (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 3, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 10, 1901 )
  • Eugénie Grandet, 1833 (Scènes de la vie de province)
    - Eugenia Grandet; or, The Miser’s Daughter (tr. 1843) / Eugénie Grandet (translated by Katherine Prescott Wormeley, 1886; in La comédie humaine, Vol. 7, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 5, 1901 ; Marion Ayton Crawford, 1955; Henry Reed, 1964; Sylvia Raphael, 1990)
    - Perijärär (suom. V. A. Koskenniemi, 1913) / Saiturin tytär (suom. V. A. Koskenniemi, 1934) / Eugénie Grandet (suom. Outi ja Kalevi Nyytäjä, 1963)
    - films: 1910, dir. Emile Chautard, Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset; 1918, dir.  Roberto Roberti; The Conquering Power, 1920, dir. Rex Ingram, starring Alice Terry, Rudolph Valentino; 1947, dir. Mario Soldati, starring Alida Valli; 1953, dir.  Emilio Gómez Muriel, starring Marga López; TV film 1956, dir.  Maurice Cazeneuve, starring Dominique Blanchar, Jean Marchat, Line Noro, Paul Guers; Evgeniya Grande, 1960, dir. Sergei Alekseyev, starring Ariadna Shengelaya, Mikhail Kozakov, Semyon Mezhinsky, Tatyana Pankova; TV film 1965, dir. Rex Tucker, cast: Valerie Gearon, Carl Bernard, Mary Kerridge, Beatrix Lehmann, David Sumner; TV film 1994, dir. Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe, starring Alexandra London
  • L'Illustre Gaudissart, 1833 (Scènes de la vie de province)
    - The Illustrious Gaudissart (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 11, c.1896)
  • Ferragus, 1833 (Histoire des Treize)
    - Ferragus, Chief of the Dévorants (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 14, c.1896)
    - Ferragus eli Salaliittolaisten päällikkö (suom. Volmari Raitio, 1915)
    - films: 1910, dir. André Calmettes, prod. Pathé Frères; 1920, dir. Giovanni Enrico Vidali, prod. Soc.Lydianne; 1923, dir. Gaston Ravel, prod. Films Rene Navarre
  • La Duchesse de Langeais, 1833/1834 (Histoire des Treize)
    - The Duchess of Langeais (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 13, c.1896; Ellen Marriage, 1898)
    - films: Ne touchez pas la hache, 2007, dir. Jacques Rivette, starring Jeanne Balibar, Guillaume Depardieu, Bulle Ogier, Michel Piccoli; TV film 1995, dir. by Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe, starring Laure Duthilleul, prod. France 3 (FR 3); 1942, dir. Jacques de Baroncelli, starring Edwige Feuillère, Pierre Richard-Willm, Aimé Clariond; Liebe, 1927, dir. Paul Czinner, prod. Phoebus-Film AG; The Eternal Flame, 1922, dir. Frank Lloyd, starring Norma Talmadge, Adolphe Menjou; La Storia dei tredici, 1917, dir. Carmine Gallone; 1910, dir. André Calmettes, prod. Pathé Frères
  • Histoire des Treize, 1834/35 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - The Thirteen (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 25, 1901) / History of the Thirteen (translated by Herbert J. Hunt, 1974)
  • La fleur des pois, 1834 (Études de moeurs au XIXe siècle)
  • La Recherche de l'absolu, 1834 (Études de moeurs au XIXe siècle)
    - Balthasar; or, Science and Love (translated by William Robson, 1859) / The Alchemist (tr. 1861) / The Alkahest; or The House of Cläes (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, 1887) / The Quest of the Absolute (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 2, 1901) / The Tragedy of a Genius (translated by Henry Blanchamp, 1912) /
  • La Fille aux yeux d'or, 1834/1835 (Histoire des Treize)
    - The Girl with Golden Eyes (translated by George Burnham Ives, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 33, c.1896,  1909) / The Girl with the Golden Eyes (translated by Ernest Dowson, 1931;  Charlotte Mandell, 2007)
    - film: 1961, dir. Jean-Gabriel Albicocco, starring Marie Laforêt, Paul Guers, Françoise Prévost, Françoise Dorléac
  • Le Père Goriot, 1834/1835 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - Père Goriot (translated by Mrs. Fred M. Dey, 1886; Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 1, c. 1896; Henry Reed, 1962; A.J. Krailsheimer, 1991; Burton Raffel, 1994) / Old Goriot (tr. Ellen Marriage, 1896; Marion Ayton Crawford, 1951) / Father Goriot (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 26, 1901)  / Old Man Goriot (ed. W. Somerset Maugham,translated by Joan Charles [pseud.], 1949; Minot Sedgwick, 1950)
    - Ukko Goriot (suom. Eino Woionmaa, 1927)
    - films: 1910, dir. Armand Numès; 1915, dir. Travers Vale, prod. Biograph Company; 1921, dir. Jacques de Baroncelli, starring Jacques Grétillat, Gabriel Signoret, Jeanne Cheirel, Claude France; Paris at Midnight, 1926, dir. E. Mason Hopper, starring Emile Chautard, Lionel Barrymore, Jetta Goudal, Mary Brian, Edmund Burns; 1945, dir. Robert Vernay, starring Pierre Larquey, Pierre Renoir, Georges Rollin, Claude Génia, Lise Delamare; TV film 1972, dir. Guy Jorré, cast: Charles Vanel, Bruno Garcin, Roger Jacquet; TV film 2004, dir. Jean-Daniel Verhaeghen, starring Charles Aznavour, Florence Darel, Rosemarie La Vaullée, Malik Zidi, Tchéky Karyo
  • Le Contrat de mariage, 1835 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - The Marriage Contract (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 1, c.1896)
  • Un drame au bord de la mer, 1834 (Études philosophiques)
    - A Drama on the Seashore (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 31, 1896)
  • Séraphîta, 1835
    - Seraphita, A Daughter of Eve, and Other Stories/ (translated by Clara Bell and R. S. Scott, 1899) / Seraphita (translated by Katherine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 30, 1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 4, 1901 )
  • Le livre mystique, 1835 (includes Louis Lambert and Séraphita)
    - Louis Lambert and Seraphita (2 vols., 1889)
  • Le Lys dans la vallée, 1836 (Scènes de la vie de campagne)
    - Lily of the Valley (translated by Katherine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 9, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 17, 1901; Lucienne Hill, 1989)
    - Laakson lilja (suom. Reino Hakamies, 1916)
  • Melmoth réconcilié, 1836 (Études philosophiques)
    - Melmoth Reconciled (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 1, 1901 ) / Melmoth Absolved (translated by Katherine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 29, 1896)
  • L'Interdiction, 1836 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - The Commission in Lunacy (translated by Katherine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 6, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 14, 1901 )
  • La Messe de l'athée, 1836 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - The Atheist's Mass and Other Stories (translated by C. Bell, 1896) / The Atheist's Mass (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 12, 1901)
  • Facino Cane, 1836 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - Facino Cane (translated by Katherine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 29, 1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 32, 1901 )
  • L'excommunié: roman posthume, 1837 (with Auguste de Belloy, in Oeuvres complètes de Horace de Saint-Aubin)
  • L'Enfant maudit, 1837 (Études philosophiques)
    - The Hated Son (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 31, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 12, 1901 )
  • La Vieille Fille, 1837 (Scènes de la vie de province)
    - An Old Maid (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 8, c.1896)
  • Les Employés, 1837 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - Bureaucracy (translated by Katherine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 16, 1896) / The Bureaucrats (translated by Charles Foulkes, 1993)
  • Gambara, 1837
    - Gambara (translated by Katherine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 29, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 3, 1901; Richard Howard, 2001)
  • La Messe de l'athée, 1837 (Études philosophiques)
  • Les Martyrs ignorés, 1837 (Études philosophiques)
  • Le secret des Ruggieri, 1837 (Études philosophiques)
  • Une passion dans le désert, 1837 (Études philosophiques)
  • Les Illusions perdues, 1837 (part 1: Les deux poètes)
  • Les Illusions perdues, 1837-43 (Scènes de la vie de province)
    - Lost Illusions (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 11, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 15, 1901; Kathleen Raine, 1985)
    - Kadonneet illuusiot (suom. Heikki Kaskimies, 1983)
  • Les Deux poètes, 1837 (Illusions perdues)
    - Two Poets (translated by Ellen Marriage)
  • Histoire de la Grandeur et de la Décadence de César Birotteau, 1837 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - History of the Grandeur and Downfall of César Birotteau (tr. 1860) / The Rise and Fall of César Birotteau (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 27, 1901 ) / The Bankrupt (translated by Frances Frenaye, 1959) / César Birotteau (translated by Robin Buss, 1993; Graham Robb, 1994)
    - César Birotteau: hajuvesikauppiaan suuruuden ja tuhoutumisen tarina (suom. Valpuri Alopaeus, 1979) / Kunniallisen miehen tarina (suomentanut Valpuri Alopaeus, 1946)
    - films: César Birotteau, 1911, dir. Emile Chautard, Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset, prod. Société Française des Films Éclair; Cesare Birotteau, 1921, dir. Arnaldo Fratelli, prod. Tespi Film; TV film The Rise and Rise of Cesar Birotteau, 1965, dir. Michael Barry, starring Morris Perry, prod. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • La Maison Nucingen, 1838 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    -  The Firm of Nucingen (translated by James Waring, 1901, in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 17, 1901) / Nucingen and Co., Bankers (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 15, c.1896)
  • Maximes et pensées de Napoléon, 1838
  • Le Curé de village, 1838/1839 (Scènes de la vie de campagne)
    - The Village Rector (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 25, c.1896) / The Country Parson (in The Human Comedy, 1895-98; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 19, 1901)
  • La femme supérieure; La maison Nucingen; La torpille, 1838
  • Les Rivalités en Province, 1838 (as Le Cabinet des Antiques, 1839)
    - The Jealousies of a Country Town (in The Human Comedy, 1895-98; translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 14, 1901)
  • Le Cabinet des Antiques, 1839 (Scènes de la vie de province)
    - The Gallery of Antiquities (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 9, c.1896) /  The Collection of Antiquities (translated by Ellen Marriage, 1900) / Cabinet of Antiquities (translated by William Walton, 2005)
  • Gambara; Adieu!, 1839
    - Gambara (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 29, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 3, 1901 )
  • Une fille d'Ève, 1839 (includes Massimilla Doni)
    - A Daughter of Eve (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 4, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 9, 1901)
  • Béatrix, ou Les amours forcés, 1839 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - Beatrix (translated by Rosamund and Simon Harcourt-Smith, 1895;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 13, 1901; Beth Archer, 1970) / Beatrix; A Commission in Lunacy (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 6, c.1896) 
  • Les Secrets de la princesse de Cadignan, 1839 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 15, c.1896 ) / The Secrets of a Princess (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 27, 1901
  • Massimilla Doni, 1839
    - Massimilia Doni (in Human Comedy, 1895-98; translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 6, 1901)
  • Un Grand homme de province à Paris, 1839 (Illusions perdues)
    - A Great Man of the Provinces in Paris (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 12, c.1896) / A Distinguished Provincial at Paris (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 16, 1901)
  • Balthazar Claës: ou La recherche de l'absolu, 1839
    - Alchemist; or, The house of Claes (tr. 1861)
  • Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes, 1839-47 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - Scenes from a Courtesan's Life (translated by James Waring, in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 23, 1901) / A Harlot High and Low (translated by Rayner Heppenstall, 1970)
    - Kurtisaanien loisto ja kurjuus (suom. Heikki Kaskimies ja Mikko Manninen, 1991)
  • Vautrin, 1840 (drama)
    - The Last Incarnation of Vautrin (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 14, c.1896) / Vautrin  (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 34, 1901)
  • Pierrette, 1840 (Scènes de la vie de province)
    - Pierrette (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 7, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 7, 1901)
  • Pierre Grassou, 1840 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - Pierre Grasson (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 16, c.1896) / Pierre Grassou (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 10, 1901)
  • Z. Marcas, 1840 (Scènes de la vie politique)
    - Z. Marcas (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 22, c.1896;  Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 32, 1901)
  • Physiologie de l'employé, 1841
  • Un prince de la Bohème, 1840 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - A Prince of Bohemia (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 32, 1901; George Burnham Ives, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 33, 1909)
  • Physiologie du rentier de Paris et de province, 1841 (with Arnould Frémy)
  • Ursule Mirouët, 1841 (Scènes de la vie de province)
    - Ursula (translated by Clara Bell, 1891; Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 10, c.1896) / Ursule Mirouet (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 6, 1901; Donald Adamson, 1976)
  • La Fausse Maîtresse, 1841 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - The Imaginary Mistress (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 5, 1901)
  • La Rabouilleuse, 1841/42 (Scènes de la vie de province)
    - The Black Sheep (translated by Donald Adamson, 1976)
    - films: 1944, dir. Fernand Rivers, starring Fernand Gravey, Suzy Prim, André Brunot, Jacques Erwin; Les Arrivistes, 1960, dir. Louis Daquin, adaptation Louis Daquin, Klaus Wischnewski, prod. Société Nouvelle Pathé Cinéma
  • Mémoires de deux jeunes mariées, 1841/1842
    - Memoirs of Two Young Married Women (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley,  in La comédie humaine, Vol. 2, c.1896) / A Daughter of Eve; and Letters of Two Brides (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 9, 1901) / The Two Young Brides (translated by Lady Mary Loyd, with a critical introduction by Henry James, 1902)
    - Kahden nuoren aviovaimon muistelmat (suom. L. Onerva, 1917)
  • Une ténébreuse affaire, 1842 (Scènes de la vie politique)
    - The Gondreville Mystery (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 30, 1901) / Murky Business (translated by Herbert J. Hunt, 1972)
  • Les Ressources de Quinola, 1842 (romantic drama)
    - The Resources of Quinola (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 34, 1901)
  • Albert Savarus, 1842 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - The Purse, and Albert Savarus (translated by H.H. Walker, 1883) / Albert Savarus (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 1, c1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 19, 1901)
  • Les deux frères, 1842 (as Un Ménage de garçon en province, in Comédie humaine, 1843, as La Rabouilleuse, in Oeuvres complèles, 1912)
    - Two Brothers (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 8, c.1896) / A Bachelor's Establishment (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 8, 1901) / The Black Sheep (translated by Donald Adamson, 1970)
  • Autre étude de femme, 1842 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - Another Study of a Woman (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 15, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 5, 1901)
  • L'Envers de l'histoire contemporaine, 1842-46 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - The Wrong Side of Paris (translated by Jordan Stump, 2003)
  • Oeuvres complètes: La Comédie humaine, 1842-53 (20 vols.)
  • Paméla Giraud, 1843 (drama)
    - Pamela Giraud (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 34, 1901)
  • La Muse du département, 1843 (Scènes de la vie de province)
    - The Muse of the Department (translated by George Burnham Ives, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 159)
  • David Sechard / Eve et David, 1843 (Illusions perdues)
    - Eve and David (tr. Ellen Marriage)
  • Honorine, 1843 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - Honorine (translated by George Burnham Ives, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 32, 1909)
  • Modeste Mignon, 1844 (Scènes de la vie privée)
    - Modeste Mignon (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 4, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 12, 1901)
  • Gaudissart II, 1844 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - Gaudissart II (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 32, 1901)
  • Les Paysans, 1844 (Scènes de la vie de campagne)
    - Sons of the Soil (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 26, c.1896)  / The Peasantry (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 20, 1901) 
  • Expliquée: Le Martyr Calviniste, 1845
    - Catherine de' Medici (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 27, c.1896)
  • Un début dans la vie, 1844 (includes La fausse maîtresse)
    - A Start in Life (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 5, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 11, 1901)
  • Un homme d'affaires, 1845 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - A Man of Business (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 32, 1901; George Burnham Ives, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 33, c.1909)
  • Honorine, 1845 (includes Un Prince de la Bohème)
  • Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes: Esther, 1845
    - A Harlot's Progress (in Human Comedy, 1895-98) / A Harlot High and Low (translated by Rayner Heppenstall, 1970)
  • La Lune de miel, 1845
  • Petites Misères de la vie conjugale, 1845-46
    - The Petty Annoyances of Married Life (tr. 1861) / Petty Troubles of Married life (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 33, 1901; George Burnham Ives, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 33, c.1909)
  • Les Comédiens sans le savoir, 1846 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - Unconscious Comedians (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 16, c.1896) / The Unconscious Humorists (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 26, 1901)
  • La Cousine Bette, 1846 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - Cousin Bette (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, 1888; in La comédie humaine, Vol. 18, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 21, 1901; Kathleen Raine, 1948; Anthony Bonner, 1961; Marion Ayton Crawford, 1965; James Waring, 1991; Sylvia Raphael, 1992)
    - Bette-serkku (suom. Marketta Tuulos, 1956)
    - films: 1927, dir. Max de Rieux; TV film 1964, dir. Yves-André Hubert, starring Alice Sapritch; 1998, dir. Des McAnuff, starring Jessica Lange, Geraldine Chaplin, Bob Hoskins, Elisabeth Shue
  • Le Cousin Pons, 1847 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne)
    - Cousin Pons (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 19, c.1896; Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 22, 1901; Herbert J. Hunt, 1968)
    - Pons-serkku (suom. Maija Lehtonen, 1955)
    - films: 1924, dir.  Jacques Robert; Honor of the Family, 1931, dir. Lloyd Bacon, prod. First National Pictures; Bratranec Pons, 1973, dir. Otakar Kosek, prod. Ceskoslovenská Televize; TV film 1976, dir. Guy Jorré, starring Henri Virlojeux
  • Un drame dans les prisons, 1847
  • Le provincial à Paris, 1847 (includes Gillette, Le Rentier, El Verdugo)
  • Les Parents pauvres, 1847-48 (includes Le Cousine Bette and Le Cousin Pons)
    - Poor Relations (translated by Philip Kent, 1880) / Les Parents pauvres (translated by James Waring, 1991)
  • La dernière incarnation de Vautrin, 1848
  • La Marâtre, 1848 (play)
    - The Stepmother (tr., in La comédie humaine, Vol. 36, 1901; translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 35, 1901; Edith Saunders, 1958)
  • Mercadet ou le faiseur, 1851 (drama, prod. 1849)
    - Mercadet (tr., in La comédie humaine, Vol. 36, c.1901; translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 35, 1901) / Mercadet: The Napoleon of Finance: A Comedy in Three Acts (translated by Robert Cornthwaite, 1994)
  • - The Deputy of Arcis (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 23, c.1896)
  • Les paysans, 1855 (completed by Mme. Balzac)
    - Sons of the Soil (tr., in La comédie humaine, Vol. 26, c.1896) / The Peasantry (in Human Comedy, 1895-98; translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 20, 1901)
  • Les petits bourgeois, 1856 (Scènes de la vie Parisienne, completed by Charles Rabou)
    - The Lesser Bourgeoisie (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vol. 26, c.1896) / The Middle Classes (translated by Ellen Marriage et al., in The Works of Honoré de Balzac, Vol. 28, 1901)
  • Traité de la vie élégante, 1858
  • Correspondence de H. de Balzac, 1819-1850, 1876 (2 vols.)
    - The Correspondence of Honoré de Balzac. With a Memoir by His Sister, Madame de Surville (2 vols., translated by C. Lamb Kenney, 1878)
  • Lettres à l'étrangère 1833-44, 1899-1906
    - Letters of Honoré de Balzac to Madame Hanska (translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, in La comédie humaine, Vols. 39-40, 1900)
  • Honoré de Balzac, Now for the First Time Completely Translated into English, 1895-1900 (53 vols.)  
  • The Human Comedy, 1895-1900 (La Comédie humaine; 40 vols., ed. George Saintsbury, translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley, George Burnham Ives et al.)
  • The Works of Honoré de Balzac, 1901 (36 vols., translated by Ellen Marriage et al.)
  • The Best of Balzac, 1902 (ed. Alexander Jessup)
  • L'école des ménages, 1907 (play, ed. le Vicomte de Lovenjoul, prod. 1910)
  • L'amour masqué; ou, Imprudence et bonheur: roman inédit, 1911
    - Love in a Mask; or, Imprudence and Happiness: A Hitherto Unpublished Novel (translated by Alice M. Irving, 1911)
    - Naamioitua rakkautta (suom. 1915)
  • Œuvres complètes, 1912-40 (40 vols., ed. Marcel Bouteron and Henri Longnon)
  • Les Cahiers balzaciens, 1927-28 (8 vols., ed. Marcel Bouteron)
  • Le catéchisme social, 1933 (ed. Bernard Guyon)
  • The Human Comedy, 1929 (36 vols., 4th ed., ed. George Saintsbury)
  • Letters to His Family, 1809-50, 1934 (ed. W. S. Hastings)
  • Sténie ou les erreurs philosophiques, 1936 (ed. A. Prioult)
  • Correspondance inédite avec madame Zulma Carraud 1829-1850, 1935
  • Traité de la Prière, 1942 (ed. Philippe Bertault)
  • Journaux à la mer, 1949 (ed. Louis Jaffard)
  • La femme auteur et autres fragments inédits, 1950 (ed. le Vicomte de Lovenjoul)
  • Mademoiselle du Vissard, 1950 (ed. Pierre-George Castex)
  • La comédie humaine, 1951-58 (11 vols., ed. M. Bouteron, rev. ed., by Pierre-George Castex and Pierre Citron, 1976-)
  • La comédie humaine, 1965 (7 vols.)
  • Lettres à Madame Hanska, 1967 (ed. Roger Pierrot)
  • Correspondance, 1960-68 (5 vols.)  
  • Le théâtre, 1969-1971 (Oeuvres complètes de M. de Balzac, 21-23)
  • The Plays of Honoré de Balzac, 1976
  • La comédie humaine, 1976-1981 (12 vols., ed. Pierre Citron et al.)   
  • Premiers romans: 1822-1825, 1999 (2 vols., ed. André Lorant)
  • Selected Short Stories, 1999 (edited and translated by Stanley Appelbaum)
  • Correspondance, 2006-  (ed. Roger Pierrot and Hervé Yon)


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