Honoré de Balzac: La Rabouilleuse [The Black Sheep]

(3066 words)
  • Andrew Watts (University of Birmingham)

Written between 1840 and 1842, La Rabouilleuse captures Balzac in full maturity, reflecting both his ambition to serve as the “secretary” (Balzac, H. de, 1976-81, 1: 11) of nineteenth-century French society, and his instinctive enthusiasm for stories of domestic turmoil, frustrated talent, and monetary greed. The novel was first mentioned in Balzac's notes and correspondence in 1839, under the titles Le Bonhomme Piedefer [Old Man Piedefer] and Le Bonhomme Rouget [Old Man Rouget]. Focussing on the tribulations of a provincial bachelor, it was intended to complete a trilogy of works entitled Les Célibataires<…

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Watts, Andrew. "La Rabouilleuse". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 April 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=21922, accessed 07 October 2015.]