French realism


1830 With its detailed analysis of French society and psychological depth, Stendhal’s The Red and the Black marks a definitive shift from Romanticism to realism.

1830–56 The interlocking novels and stories of Honoré de Balzac’s monumental La Comédie humaine provide a panoramic view of French society from 1815 to 1848.


1869 Flaubert’s A Sentimental Education adds to the body of French realism with its vast presentation of France under Louis-Philippe.

1885 Guy de Maupassant portrays the rise to power of a ruthless social climber in Bel Ami, a realist novel set in fin-de-siècle Paris.

Romanticism, with its focus ...

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