A Distinguished Provincial at Paris

Honoré de Balzac

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This is the second (and more famous) part of de Balzac's trilogy Illusions perdues (Lost Illusions). The focus throughout this longer volume is on Lucien and his adventures in Paris as a budding poet. It is definitely a different quality and pattern in this novel including a fantastic insight into the volatile world of journalism as linked to politics as well as the world of the arts. It is a rollercoaster ride in Lucien's company.

A Distinguished Provincial at Paris (Un Grand homme de province a Paris) is part two of the Lost Illusions trilogy. While the storyline in this novel does stand on its own, much character background will be gained by reading part one, The Two Poets, first. Part three is Eve and David. The story begun in the trilogy is concluded in a fourth novel, Scenes from a Courtesan's Life.

A Distinguished Provincial at Paris begins precisely where The Two Poets ended with two of the characters we met in part one traveling to Paris to live. Which of the two will be more successful in Paris, where it is considerably more difficult to succeed than in the Angouleme they are leaving? Both characters will fall under the influence of Paris and its residents. Will they even survive a sojourn in Paris?

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