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Paz   By: (1799-1850)

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Paz by Honoré de Balzac is a remarkable piece of literature that takes readers on a rich and captivating journey through the lives of its characters. Set in mid-19th century France, the book immerses us into the tumultuous period of revolution and political upheaval.

Balzac's storytelling prowess shines through in Paz, painting a meticulous portrait of society during this era. The plot revolves around a young and ambitious lawyer named Paul Paz, whose thirst for power and wealth drives him to make morally questionable choices.

The character development in Paz is simply outstanding. Through intricate details and astute observations, Balzac brings Paul Paz to life. Initially, Paul is portrayed as an innocent and idealistic young man, but as the story unfolds, we witness his transformation into a cunning and ruthless opportunist. The conflicting emotions Paul experiences make him a complex and relatable character, as we find ourselves torn between sympathy and disdain for his choices.

In addition to Paul Paz, Balzac introduces a myriad of other well-drawn characters who play significant roles in the narrative. The author skillfully explores the relationships and dynamics between these individuals, highlighting their flaws, ambitions, and personal struggles. Every character feels authentic, with their own unique voice and motivations.

Balzac's vivid descriptions of settings in Paz further enhance the reading experience. From the bustling streets of Paris to the grand mansions of the elite, each location is depicted with such precision that one can almost smell the scents and hear the sounds of the era.

The prose in Paz is masterfully crafted, showcasing Balzac's impressive command of the language. His writing is richly descriptive, with vivid imagery that transports readers to another time and place. The dialogue flows seamlessly and feels natural, adding depth and authenticity to the conversations between characters.

However, it is worth noting that Paz may not be for every reader. Balzac's style is dense and intricate, requiring patience and dedication to fully appreciate the subtleties and complexities of the narrative. Some readers may find the pace slow at times, but the careful unfolding of the story ultimately rewards those who persevere.

In conclusion, Paz is a thought-provoking and captivating novel that delves into the human condition, ambition, and the pursuit of power. Balzac's attention to detail, compelling characters, and masterful storytelling make this book a true work of art. While it may not cater to all tastes, those who appreciate a meticulously crafted tale set in a bygone era will find themselves deeply engrossed in the world of Paz.

First Page:


(La Fausse Maitresse)

By Honore De Balzac

Translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley


Dedicated to the Comtesse Clara Maffei.




In September, 1835, one of the richest heiresses of the faubourg Saint Germain, Mademoiselle du Rouvre, the only daughter of the Marquis du Rouvre, married Comte Adam Mitgislas Laginski, a young Polish exile.

We ask permission to write these Polish names as they are pronounced, to spare our readers the aspect of the fortifications of consonants by which the Slave language protects its vowels, probably not to lose them, considering how few there are.

The Marquis du Rouvre had squandered nearly the whole of a princely fortune, which he obtained originally through his marriage with a Demoiselle de Ronquerolles. Therefore, on her mother's side Clementine du Rouvre had the Marquis de Ronquerolles for uncle, and Madame de Serizy for aunt. On her father's side she had another uncle in the eccentric person of the Chevalier du Rouvre, a younger son of the house, an old bachelor who had become very rich by speculating in lands and houses. The Marquis de Ronquerolles had the misfortune to lose both his children at the time of the cholera, and the only son of Madame de Serizy, a young soldier of great promise, perished in Africa in the affair of the Makta... Continue reading book >>

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