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Colonel Chabert

ISBN 1843910373 / 9781843910374 / 1-84391-037-3

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Book summary

A vital part of Balzacs La comedie humaine, this radiant novel recounts the story of a disenfranchised hero of the Napoleonic wars. Left for dead on the battlefield of Eylau, Colonel Chabert has spent years in an asylum as an amnesiac. The novel begins as he returns to the life he left behind only to discover that, in his absence, his entire life—family, society, identity—has changed. With Napoleon deposed, Frances aristocracy has returned to power “as if the Revolution never occurred, and believing Chabert to be dead, his wife is now married to a count. Sickened by her pretense not to recognize him and by the titled society that spurns his former meritorious deeds, Chabert vows to recover both his money and his reputation. Honore de Balzac, one of the greatest writers of 19th-century France, is the author of La comedie humaine, a monumental cycle of 91 interconnected novels.