Honore de Balzac (May 20, 1799 - August 18, 1850), born Honore Balzac, was a nineteenth-century French novelist and playwright. His work, much of which is a sequence (or Roman-fleuve) of almost 100 novels and plays collectively entitled La Comedie humaine, is a broad, often satirical panorama of French society, particularly the Petit bourgeoisie, in the years after the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815-namely the period of the Restoration (1815-1830) and the July Monarchy (1830-1848). Along with Gustave Flaubert (whose work he influenced), Balzac is generally regarded as a founding father of realism in European literature. Balzac's novels, most of which are farcical comedies, feature a large cast of well-defined characters, and descriptions in exquisite detail of the scene of action..
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