The age of gold, who imagines himself a “golden age”

The life story of the great French novelist is, in essence, the story of his work. Balzac himself said: “The main events of my life are my works”. Indeed, very often the “vital material” penetrated the pages of his novels. More than once in his works the story of a young man who because of poverty lives in the attic, eats only bread and milk, but at the same time he passionately believes that sooner or later the whole of Paris will be at his feet – this, in general terms, the history of the writer himself, as he was in the early twenties.

Honore de Balzac lived in an era of historical upheaval. A few years before his birth, there was a bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1789-1793, then the dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte was established in France and all of Europe was in the fire of the Napoleonic wars. In the years 1814-1830. in France, the Bourbon monarchy was restored, but the revolution of 1830 brought the bourgeoisie, led by the king... of bankers Louis-Philippe, to power.

This period of the history of France was marked by the return of all the privileges of the aristocratic nobility, which, however, constantly needed money. The deal between aristocracy and capital was inevitable, and it took place, as usual in such cases, cynically and without any sentiment. The rich bourgeois, overtaking each other, bought noble ranks, trying to give their surnames a “noble sound.” Money for titles did not regret. In turn, the offspring of noble families, wishing to acquire solid wealth, married the daughters of yesterday’s merchants. Human destinies and feelings were not taken into account. Transactions did not hide, and their cynicism did not bother anyone. “It was an age of gold, imagining itself a” golden age, “wrote at that time the French writer A. Wurmser. The first half of the XIX century ended in the revolution of 1848, which led to the final victory of the bourgeoisie. The great French novelist Onore de Balzac lived and worked in this disturbing and eventful historical event.


The age of gold, who imagines himself a “golden age”