Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads

A Prince of Bohemia   By: (1799-1850)

Book cover

A Prince of Bohemia by Honoré de Balzac is a compelling and thought-provoking novel that takes readers on a captivating journey through the complexities of love, ambition, and societal norms. This book provides a fascinating exploration of human desires, pulling the readers into a world where appearances can be deceiving and morality is often blurred.

The story revolves around the life of Lucien de Rubempré, a young and ambitious poet who moves to Paris in pursuit of fame and fortune. As he becomes entangled in the web of the city's social elite, Lucien finds himself torn between his love for two very different women. The vibrant and captivating Esther, the mistress of a wealthy financier, seduces him with her charm and luxury. On the other hand, the virtuous Madame de Bargeton, a woman of noble birth married to a provincial magistrate, captures Lucien's heart with her intellect and beauty.

Balzac masterfully crafts the characters, delving deep into their psychology and painting a vivid picture of their inner struggles. Lucien, in particular, is a complex protagonist whose actions and choices reflect the conflicts and temptations that often come with ambition. The author showcases the seductive power of wealth and fame, as well as the harsh consequences of pursuing them at any cost.

Moreover, A Prince of Bohemia serves as an insightful social commentary on the era in which it is set. Balzac vividly portrays the stark class divisions and the corrupt nature of French society during the 19th century. Through the characters' interactions, he highlights the hypocrisy and superficiality of the upper classes, exposing the ruthlessness hidden behind their elegant façade.

The prose in this novel is beautifully descriptive, evoking a vivid sense of time and place. Balzac's attention to detail is remarkable, painting a rich and immersive setting that brings the story to life. His commentary on various social issues is both astute and thought-provoking, allowing readers to reflect on themes that are still relevant today.

However, one aspect that may deter some readers is the slow-paced nature of the narrative. The novel is filled with lengthy descriptions and philosophical musings, which can occasionally slow down the plot progression. While some may find this enriching, others might find it frustrating.

Overall, A Prince of Bohemia is a profound and compelling novel that delves deep into the human condition. Balzac's nuanced exploration of love, ambition, and societal pressure makes this book a captivating read. Although it may not be suited for those seeking quick-paced action, it is certainly a worthwhile read for those who appreciate complex characters and insightful social commentary.

First Page:


By Honore De Balzac

Translated by Clara Bell and others


To Henri Heine.

I inscribe this to you, my dear Heine, to you that represent in Paris the ideas and poetry of Germany, in Germany the lively and witty criticism of France; for you better than any other will know whatsoever this Study may contain of criticism and of jest, of love and truth.



"My dear friend," said Mme. de la Baudraye, drawing a pile of manuscript from beneath her sofa cushion, "will you pardon me in our present straits for making a short story of something which you told me a few weeks ago?"

"Anything is fair in these times. Have you not seen writers serving up their own hearts to the public, or very often their mistress' hearts when invention fails? We are coming to this, dear; we shall go in quest of adventures, not so much for the pleasure of them as for the sake of having the story to tell afterwards."

"After all, you and the Marquise de Rochefide have paid the rent, and I do not think, from the way things are going here, that I ever pay yours."

"Who knows? Perhaps the same good luck that befell Mme. de Rochefide may come to you... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books