This canon of French literature, Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) is also a major European figure in the development of realism. His work is dominated by an inter-related sequence of novels and short stories, La Comedie Humanine, which charts the idiosyncrasies of French society from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the 1840's. Among the most famous of these are Le Pierre Goriot and La Cousine Bette. Iin this study, Dr Tilby concentrates on the main approaches in practice and discusses some of the earliest responses to Balzac's work. His introduction and headnotes set Balzac's work in context. This book will be of interest to students of French language and literature and also to those studying French in combined studies or humanities courses.