Honoré de Balzac

Literary Birthday – 20 May – Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac was born 20 May 1799, and died 18 August 1850.


  1. A flow of words is a sure sign of duplicity.
  2. Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.
  3. The more one judges, the less one loves.
  4. If we could but paint with the hand what we see with the eye.
  5. It is always assumed by the empty-headed, who chatter about themselves for want of something better, that people who do not discuss their affairs openly must have something to hide.
  6. You may imitate, but never counterfeit.
  7. A letter is a soul, so faithful an echo of the speaking voice that to the sensitive it is among the richest treasures of love.
  8. I am a galley slave to pen and ink.
  9. All happiness depends on courage and work.
  10. Reading brings us unknown friends.
  11. Equality may perhaps be a right, but no power on earth can ever turn it into a fact.
  12. There is no such thing as a great talent without great willpower.

Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels called La Comédie humaine, which shows French life after the 1815 fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. Balzac is known as one of the founders of realism in European literature. His multifaceted characters are complex, morally ambiguous, and fully human. His works include Père Goriot.

Source for Image


Louis-Auguste Bisson, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 20th May 2013