The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Comédie Humaine

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COMÉDIE HUMAINE, ü-mān, La, a series of novels by Balzac, so designated by their author, and intended to form a picture of the manners and morals of the period. The first volume of the ‘Comédie Humaine’ appeared in 1829; but it was not until 1842 that Balzac adopted the general title. The author intended to present a panorama of his time in France, and he wrote nearly 100 novels without completing the herculean task he had set himself.