As all who are learned in such matters know, the Venetian
aristocracy is the first in Europe. Its Libro
d’Oro dates from before the Crusades, from
a time when Venice, a sur...
The French novelist Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) was the first writer to use fiction to convey the total social scene prevailing within one country at a particular period in its history. Common...
Had Balzac been a less masterful novelist, the disreputably profligate fraud in him might have overwhelmed his artistry. Still, the other Balzac, the artist, is tainted by his well-earned reputation f...