Balzac, Jean Louis Guez de

Balzac, Jean Louis Guez de

(zhäN lwē gā də bälzäk`), 1597?–1654, French writer. His Lettres (1624, tr. 1634) and other writings were a great influence in reforming French prose. Their style was marked by their orderly, Latinate sentence structure.

Balzac, Jean Louis Guez de


Born 1597 in An-goulême; died there Feb. 18, 1654. French writer. Member of the Académie Française (1636).

Born into a family of the gentry, Balzac enjoyed the patronage of Richelieu, who appointed him state councillor and historiographer of France. He was the author of four treatises (The Prince, 1631; The Graybeard, 1648; Christian Socrates, 1652; and Aristippus, 1658, published posthumously) and numerous discourses which contributed to the development of the conception of ancient Rome and Roman valor which underlies many tragedies of French classicism. His treatises, and particularly his letters, part of which were published in 1624 and the rest posthumously, exerted influence on the development of classical French prose.


Oeuvres, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1665.
Oeuvres choisies, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1822.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. Pages 379–80.
Guillaumie, J. L. Guez de Balzac et la prose française. Paris, 1927.