Lost Illusions

By Honoré de Balzac

Words from the achiever

“One of my aunts was conned by a traveling salesman into buying the complete works of Honoré de Balzac in English. He told her it would make her an educated lady, and she would ultimately become principal of a high school. Maybe he was right, because she did become educated, and she did become principal of the high school. At any rate, she passed the books on to me. All 51 of them, or something. A fantastic gift! I read most of them and that, of course, made a major, major difference. Balzac. That son-of-a-gun could write! And he kept writing. He wrote 30 or 40 great books. And he did it his way. He didn’t try to be Flaubert, he didn’t try to be Dostoyevsky, or anybody else. I take great solace from that.”

About the book

One of the greatest installments in Balzac’s epic Human Comedy, the story of a young poet from the provinces who loses his way in the fickle and captivating society of 19th century Paris.