These choice selections from Honoré de Balzac's Droll Stories offer a lively and lusty portrait of sixteenth-century French life and manners. Told in the tradition of Boccaccio, Chaucer, and Rabelais, they allegedly originated in manuscripts from the abbeys of Touraine. Originally published in three sets of ten tales in the 1830s, the stories abound in episodes of good-humored licentiousness that scandalized Balzac's contemporaries and continue to delight modern readers. French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850) was a founder of realism in European literature. An inspiration to Proust, Dickens, Faulkner, Dostoyevsky, and countless others, Balzac wrote works that were hailed for their multifaceted characters and exquisite attention to detail. This edition's excellent translation was the first to make his Contes Drolatiques available to English-speaking readers.