Honoré de Balzac: Le Curé de Tours [The Curé of Tours] (3133 words)

Peter Wagstaff (University of Bath)
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In this short novel a well-intentioned but naïve provincial priest, Abbé François Birotteau, the eponymous Curé de Tours, finds his hopes confounded and his life ruined by the cynicism, hypocrisy and selfishness of those around him. It is an early example of Balzac’s acute psychological penetration, and of his exploration of the ways in which individuals’ lives are determined by and reflected in their environment. Although it was written in the spring of 1832, it was not until Balzac began to assemble his novels under the collective heading of La Comédie humaine in 1843 that he settled on the title of Le Curé de Tours [The Vicar of Tours]. He had previously …

Citation: Wagstaff, Peter. "Le Curé de Tours". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 November 2017 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11194, accessed 07 May 2021.]

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