Lost Illusions: A Distinguished Provincial at Paris


Read by Bruce Pirie

(4.5 stars; 16 reviews)

A Distinguished Provincial at Paris (Un grand homme de province à Paris, 1839) is the second book in Balzac’s Lost Illusions trilogy, which is part of his sweeping set of novels collectively titled La Comédie Humaine. The story is set in post-Napoleonic France, when the new bourgeoisie was jostling for position alongside the old aristocracy. In the first volume of the trilogy (Two Poets, 1837), we met Lucien Chardon, an aspiring poet who feels stymied by the pettiness of provincial life. In the present volume, Lucien, now using the more aristocratic-sounding surname "de Rubempré," leaves behind his family in order to seek fame and fortune in the literary world of Paris. He is tested by challenges that are literary, social, financial, and ethical.

Balzac’s work was hugely influential in the development of realism in fiction. The Lost Illusions trilogy is one of his greatest achievements, and is named in the reference work 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. The final volume in the trilogy is Ève and David (1843). - Summary by Bruce Pirie

Other volumes in this series:
Lost Illusions: Two Poets
Lost Illusions: Ève and David

(13 hr 45 min)

Chapters

Chapter 1 20:19 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 2 34:49 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 3 26:57 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 4 27:03 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 5 25:47 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 6 31:30 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 7 28:14 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 8 28:45 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 9 23:53 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 10 30:38 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 11 28:05 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 12 25:15 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 13 28:15 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 14 28:30 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 15 23:28 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 16 30:12 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 17 22:59 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 18 28:42 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 19 31:44 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 20 25:29 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 21 24:13 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 22 24:53 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 23 17:48 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 24 30:31 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 25 22:30 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 26 29:18 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 27 28:10 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 28 25:25 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 29 32:53 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 30 19:35 Read by Bruce Pirie
Chapter 31 20:00 Read by Bruce Pirie