Honoré de Balzac: Splendeurs et Misères des courtisanes [A Harlot High And Low] (2277 words)


At the end of Balzac’s Illusions perdues [Lost Illusions] (1837-1844), Lucien Chardon, who was once an aspiring poet and is now a failed journalist, sets out to kill himself. En route to the river he meets a mysterious Spanish priest on a diplomatic mission, who promises to make him rich if he will only obey him unconditionally. The mysterious Spanish priest is, of course, none other than Jacques Collin, aka Trompe-la-mort, aka Vautrin, one of Balzac’s most celebrated creations. An escaped convict, an aristocrat of crime perpetually at war with society, he had first appeared in Le Père Goriot, in which he had tried to corrupt the ambitious young nobleman Rastignac. But whereas Rastignac …

Citation: Bielecki, Emma . "Splendeurs et Misères des courtisanes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2017 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16837, accessed 17 May 2021.]

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