Honoré de Balzac (born May 20, 1799, Tours, France – died August 18, 1850, Paris, France) was a French novelist and playwright, recognized as one of the founders of realism in European literature.
Balzac helped to establish the traditional form of the novel and was one of the first writers who used fiction to present the social scene in one country’s history.
His most extensive work consists of more than ninety finished works, mostly novels and short stories, collectively called La Comédie humaine (The Human Comedy). Some of the most notable novels are The Wild Ass’s Skin (1831), Eugénie Grandet (1833), The Country Doctor (1833), Père Goriot (1835), and A Harlot High and Low (1838-1847).
Balzac’s writing influenced many writers and philosophers of his time and after, including Gustave Flaubert, Émile Zola, Marcel Proust, Charles Dickens, Friedrich Engels, and Henry James.