Balzac's work: an overview of 'La Comedie humaine'; Introduction Andrew Watts; 1. Balzac: a portrait of the novelist as social historian and scientist Elisabeth Gerwin; 2. Balzac's early works Michael Tilby; 3. Balzac's correspondence Ewa Szypula; 4. Fantasy and reality in La Peau de chagrin David F. Bell; 5. Balzac, money and the pursuit of power Allan H. Pasco; 6. Le Pere Goriot: arrivisme and the Parisian morality tale Armine Kotin Mortimer; 7. Illusions perdues: writers, artists and the reflexive novel Sotirios Paraschas; 8. Balzac, gender and sexuality: La Cousine Bette Dorothy Kelly; 9. Space, religion and politics in the Scenes de la vie de campagne Owen Heathcote; 10. Balzac's shorter fiction Tim Farrant; 11. Adapting Balzac Andrew Watts; 12. Balzac's legacy Scott Lee; Epilogues: Dual Balzac Chantal Chawaf; Living Balzac Eric Jourdan; Guide to further reading.
Leading specialists shed new light on key narrative and thematic features of the writings of Honore de Balzac.
Owen Heathcote is Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Modern French Studies at the University of Bradford. He researches the relation between violence, gender, sexuality and representation in French literature from the nineteenth century to the present. His many publications include Balzac and Violence: Representing History, Space, Sexuality and Death in 'La Comedie humaine' (2009) and From Bad Boys to New Men? Masculinity, Sexuality and Violence in the Work of Eric Jourdan (2014). Andrew Watts is Senior Lecturer in French Studies at the University of Birmingham. His research focuses on the representation of provincial life in 'La Comedie humaine' and, more recently, on the adaptation of nineteenth-century French novels in different artistic media. He is the author of Preserving the Provinces: Small Town and Countryside in the Work of Honore de Balzac (2007) and the co-author (with Kate Griffiths) of Adapting Nineteenth-Century France: Literature in Film, Theatre, Television, Radio and Print (2013). He has also co-edited (with Michelle Cheyne) a critical edition of Balzac's Le Negre (2014).