Balzac, Honore de. Born in 1799. French novelist. Was intended for the law, but left the legal profession for literature, and under various assumed names produced rapidly. In 1826 he entered into partnership with a printer, but their publications were not successful, and Balzac, depending solely upon his pen for a livelihood, endured the greatest privations. He obtained no public recognition till the appearance of his "Physiologie du Mariage," but afterwards he continued to write with increasing success. In 1850 he married a Russian lady, and after visiting Russia, returned to Paris in broken health. Died shortly afterwards in 1850. His collected works included in 45 volumes.