Lost Illusions: Ève and David

Honoré de BALZAC (1799 - 1850), translated by Ellen MARRIAGE (1865 - 1946)

Ève and David (1843) is the final book in Balzac’s Lost Illusions trilogy, which is part of his sweeping set of novels collectively titled La Comédie Humaine. The story is set in post-Napoleonic France. In the first volume of the trilogy (Two Poets, 1837), we meet Lucien Chardon, an aspiring poet frustrated by the pettiness of provincial life. In the second volume (A Distinguished Provincial at Paris, 1839) Lucien, now using the more aristocratic-sounding surname "de Rubempré," leaves his family in order to seek fame and fortune in the literary world of Paris. By the end of that book, he faced imminent emotional and financial collapse.

In this present volume, the reader is returned to the provincial town of Angoulême, where Lucien's sister Ève and her husband, Lucien's friend David, have been desperately struggling against clever competition to keep a their printing shop afloat. Their situation is complicated when Lucien's financial distress spills over into their lives.

Balzac’s work was hugely influential in the development of realism in fiction. The Lost Illusions trilogy is one of his greatest achievements, and is named in the reference work 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. (Summary by Bruce Pirie)

Other volumes in this series:
Lost Illusions: Two Poets
Lost Illusions: A Distinguished Provincial at Paris
The story of Lucien de Rubempré continues in the sequel, Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

Genre(s): Literary Fiction, Published 1800 -1900

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Chapter 1 Bruce Pirie
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Play 02 Chapter 2 Bruce Pirie
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Play 03 Chapter 3 Bruce Pirie
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Play 05 Chapter 5 Bruce Pirie
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Play 06 Chapter 6 Bruce Pirie
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Play 07 Chapter 7 Bruce Pirie
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Play 08 Chapter 8 Bruce Pirie
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Play 09 Chapter 9 Bruce Pirie
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Play 10 Chapter 10 Bruce Pirie
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Play 16 Chapter 16 Bruce Pirie
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Play 19 Chapter 19 Bruce Pirie
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Play 20 Chapter 20 Bruce Pirie
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