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The Chouans by Honoré de Balzac
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» See also 13 mentions

English (2)  French (1)  All languages (3)
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The first book Balzac wrote under his own name, and the first to be in his famed Human Comedy, this novel is at once historical, romantic, and melodramatic. It takes place in Brittany in 1799, just after Napoleon has taken power, at the time of a royalist, anti-revolutionary uprising. I got this book, which appears to be out of print, because someone (can't remember who) recommended it to me after I read Ninety Three by Victor Hugo.

The plot pits the daughter of a duke who has taken up the cause of the republic against a marquis who has returned, somewhat incognito, from exile to lead the royalist rebellion and his supposed mother, a real zealot for the cause. But the real interest of the story lies not in the on-again, off-again romance of the marquis and the duke's daughter, but in the characters Balzac so vividly creates and the portrait of the time and the place: the republic's military leaders, the peasant fighters of Brittany, the abandoned estates, the snobbery and viciousness of the royalist supporters, the harshness of the landscape, the spies, the treachery and deceit, the interconnections among the characters, and of course the horrors of war.

I didn't find this book as exciting as Ninety Three and I found the ending overly melodramatic but, as always, i enjoyed being in Balzac's world.
  rebeccanyc | Dec 7, 2014 |
While not particularly "engaging," (I read this book twice in as many weeks, and fell asleep approximately 20 times in the process) Balzac's first signed novel poses some interesting questions. How, and with what consequences, do "history" and "fiction" coincide? How does one write the history of forgotten individuals? ( )
  slvq | Jan 22, 2006 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Balzac, Honoré deprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crawford, Marion AytonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crawford, Marion AytonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guise, RenéIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kahn, MagdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ravesteyn, W. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014044260X, Paperback)

"The Chouans, " the first volume in Balzac's magnificent novel sequence "La Comedie Humaine, " is the tale of the Royalist uprising in Brittany against the post-revolutionary republic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:00 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Part of his Human Comedy sequence, the story follows the love of Marie de Verneuil of the aristocracy and the royalist Alphonse de Montauran" --Provided by publisher.

» see all 2 descriptions

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