Honore de Balzac was born in 1799 in Tours, France, into a bourgeois family (he added the aristocratic "de" in adulthood). Soon after graduating from the Sorbonne, he quit the practice of law and, impoverished in a Parisian garret, began his legendary habit of writing feverishly around the clock, fueled by dozens of cups of coffee. He quickly produced a series of increasingly successful novels. He also began a series of failed businessesincluding a publishing house and a pineapple farmthat would leave him, despite increasing fame, in hair-raising and life-long debt; his house in Paris had a hidden exit to escape creditors. Balzac cemented his status as the father of realism with his 95-volume overview of French society, the stories, essays, and novels (includingPere Goriot,Eugenie Grandet, andCousin Bette) he calledLa Comedie Humaine. In 1850 the famous man-about-town married a Polish countess with whom he'd conducted a romantic correspondence for 18 years, only to die three months later. Charlotte Mandell has won the Modern Language Association Prize in translation. Among other titles she has translated for The ART OF THE NOVELLA series are Gustave Flaubert'sA Simple Heartand Guy De Maupassant'sThe Horla.Mandell, Charlotte is the author of 'Girl With the Golden Eyes ' with ISBN 9780976658313 and ISBN 0976658313.