La Maison de Balzac, Paris, France

La Comédie Humaine's family tree and characters

La Comédie Humaine’s family tree and characters

Though I love to visit writers’ houses, I only recently trekked out to Western Paris to the neighborhood that was once a smaller village, Passy, to visit La Maison de Balzac.

In the garden

In the garden

Balzac moved into this house in 1840 under a pseudonym, Monsieur de Breugnol, in order to evade creditors. It sort of feels like it. The neighborhood is a good distance from the attention-getting arrondisements in a residential, quiet area filled with curvy tree-lined streets, grand houses and colorful gardens.

Looking down from the street

Looking down from the street

The house is situated away from the street, down a staircase. The selling point may have been a network of underground cellars leading from the garden down to the Seine, handy for a quick escape from unwanted visitors.

The infamous study

The infamous study

Here, Balzac’s study is preserved. Here’s where all the magic happened.

Manuscript pages

Manuscript pages

Paintings, engravings, first editions, manuscripts and printing plates fill the house. Among the personal items is the notable monogrammed cafetière that fueled his writing binges.

Likenesses

Likenesses

The first room contains sculptures.

This is the only one of Balzac’s Paris homes still standing.

47, rue Raynouard
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday
www.balzac.paris.fr

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