Le Lys dans la Vallee (English: The Lily of the Valley) is an 1835 novel about love and society by French novelist and playwright Honore de Balzac (1799–1850). It concerns the affection — emotionally vibrant but never consummated — between Felix de Vandenesse and Henriette de Mortsauf. It is part of his series of novels (or Roman-fleuve) known as La Comédie humaine (The Human Comedy), which parodies and depicts French society in the period of the Bourbon Restoration and the July Monarchy (1815–1848). In his novel he also mentions the chateau Azay-le-Rideau, which can still be visited today.
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Honore de Balzac (French pronunciation: 20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850 was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multifaceted characters, who are morally ambiguous. His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gustave Flaubert, Benito Pérez Galdós, Marie Corelli, Henry James, William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino, and philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into or have inspired films, and they are a continuing source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and critics.
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