Honoré de Balzac

1799 - 1850

Photo of Honoré de Balzac

Icon of person Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac ( BAL-zak, more commonly US: BAWL-, French: [ɔnɔʁe d(ə) balzak]; born Honoré Balzac; 20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. The novel sequence La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of post-Napoleonic French life, is generally viewed as his magnum opus. Owing to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Honoré de Balzac has received more than 3,351,162 page views. His biography is available in 109 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 107 in 2019). Honoré de Balzac is the 22nd most popular writer (up from 29th in 2019), the 16th most popular biography from France (up from 22nd in 2019) and the 5th most popular French Writer.

Honoré de Balzac is most famous for his novel "La Comédie Humaine," which is a series of novels that depict French society in the early 1800s.

Memorability Metrics

  • 3.4M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 83.46

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 109

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 15.10

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.53

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

Illusions perdues
Le père Goriot
Cousine Bette
Droll Stories
Oeuvres complètes
Eugénie Grandet
Eugénie Grandet
Social life and customs, Fiction, French literature
Published in 1833 Part of Balzac's "Comédie Humaine"
Oeuvres complètes
La Femme de trente ans
Classic Literature, Fiction, Continental european fiction (fictional works by one author)
La père Goriot
Fiction, France in fiction, Older men in fiction
SCOTT (copy 1): The Hédi Bouraoui Collection in Maghrebian and Franco-Ontario Literatures is the gift of University Professor Emeritus Hédi Bouraoui.
Les contes drôlatiques
Social life and customs, France in fiction, Fiction
A collection of stories with a mediaeval theme rather after the style of Rabelais. Early editions were illustrated by Gustav Dore and were published by Garnier Freres of Paris. The stories range from the absurd to the downright grim but the illustrations give them a life of their own. Rather off-putting to the reader used to modern French, the stories are written in an archaic French that is not always easy to interpret.
Illusions perdues
Social life and customs, Translations into Chinese, Fiction
Facsimiles of the manuscript and of a corrected printed edition of part 1 of Illusions perdues, entitled Les deux poètes.


Among writers, Honoré de Balzac ranks 22 out of 7,302Before him are Jules Verne, Virgil, Albert Camus, Molière, Anton Chekhov, and Petrarch. After him are Aesop, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ovid, Rumi, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and Giovanni Boccaccio.

Most Popular Writers in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


Among people born in 1799, Honoré de Balzac ranks 1After him are Alexander Pushkin, Oscar I of Sweden, Benoît Paul Émile Clapeyron, Mary Anning, William Lassell, Gustav, Prince of Vasa, Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander, Karl Bryullov, Charles II, Duke of Parma, Fromental Halévy, and Anna Atkins. Among people deceased in 1850, Honoré de Balzac ranks 1After him are Louis Philippe I, Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, William Wordsworth, Zachary Taylor, Daoguang Emperor, Báb, José de San Martín, Marie Tussaud, Frédéric Bastiat, Louise of Orléans, and Johann Heinrich von Thünen.

Others Born in 1799

Go to all Rankings

Others Deceased in 1850

Go to all Rankings

In France

Among people born in France, Honoré de Balzac ranks 16 out of 6,770Before him are Claude Monet (1840), Jules Verne (1828), Montesquieu (1689), Louis XV of France (1710), Molière (1622), and Charles de Gaulle (1890). After him are Jean-Paul Sartre (1905), Alain Delon (1935), Henri Matisse (1869), John Calvin (1509), Paul Cézanne (1839), and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900).

Among WRITERS In France

Among writers born in France, Honoré de Balzac ranks 5Before him are Voltaire (1694), Victor Hugo (1802), Jules Verne (1828), and Molière (1622). After him are Jean-Paul Sartre (1905), Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900), Denis Diderot (1713), Alexandre Dumas (1802), Charles Baudelaire (1821), Émile Zola (1840), and Stendhal (1783).