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Albert Savarus   By: (1799-1850)

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In Albert Savarus, Honoré de Balzac masterfully explores the complexities of human relationships, delving into themes of love, ambition, and the power dynamics that govern society.

The novel follows the life of Albert Savarus, a talented lawyer who finds himself in the eccentric and stratified world of provincial France. As the story progresses, he becomes deeply involved in a delicate love affair that not only tests the boundaries of his loyalty and ambition but also exposes the harsh reality of societal expectations.

Balzac's portrayal of the characters is nothing short of remarkable. Albert Savarus himself is a multifaceted individual, driven by his desires, yet restrained by the external forces that surround him. The reader is drawn in by his charisma, empathizing with his struggles and the difficult choices he must make.

But it is not only Savarus who captivates the reader's attention, as Balzac carefully creates a cast of characters that are equally intriguing and flawed. From the enigmatic Countess Anna Girodet to the conniving lawyer Desplein, each character adds depth to the narrative, creating a world that is both vivid and authentic.

The novel's exploration of love is particularly poignant, as Balzac delves into the intricacies of romantic relationships. Through Savarus' passionate pursuit of the unattainable Countess, the reader witnesses the devastating effects that unrequited love can have on the human psyche. Balzac skillfully explores the themes of obsession, sacrifice, and the fine line between love and infatuation.

Furthermore, Balzac's commentary on societal norms and the power dynamics that govern them is thought-provoking. He exposes the hypocrisy and cruelty that can lie beneath the surface of seemingly polite society. There is a sharp critique of the societal pressure placed upon individuals to conform, even at the cost of their own happiness and fulfillment.

Albert Savarus is a masterwork of literature that delves into the depths of human emotion and societal dynamics. Balzac's prose is elegant and descriptive, drawing the reader deep into the narrative and immersing them in the world he has created. This is a novel that speaks to the universal human experience, exploring timeless themes that continue to be relevant today.

In conclusion, Honoré de Balzac's Albert Savarus is a compelling novel that offers a profound exploration of love, ambition, and the complexities of human relationships. Balzac's meticulous characterization and insightful commentary on societal norms make this a must-read for any lover of literature.

First Page:


By Honore de Balzac

Translated by Ellen Marriage


To Madame Emile Girardin


One of the few drawing rooms where, under the Restoration, the Archbishop of Besancon was sometimes to be seen, was that of the Baronne de Watteville, to whom he was particularly attached on account of her religious sentiments.

A word as to this lady, the most important lady of Besancon.

Monsieur de Watteville, a descendant of the famous Watteville, the most successful and illustrious of murderers and renegades his extraordinary adventures are too much a part of history to be related here this nineteenth century Monsieur de Watteville was as gentle and peaceable as his ancestor of the Grand Siecle had been passionate and turbulent. After living in the Comte (La Franche Comte) like a wood louse in the crack of a wainscot, he had married the heiress of the celebrated house of Rupt. Mademoiselle de Rupt brought twenty thousand francs a year in the funds to add to the ten thousand francs a year in real estate of the Baron de Watteville. The Swiss gentleman's coat of arms (the Wattevilles are Swiss) was then borne as an escutcheon of pretence on the old shield of the Rupts. The marriage, arranged in 1802, was solemnized in 1815 after the second Restoration... Continue reading book >>

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