chapter  9
30 Pages

The Economic Expansion

WithRonnie Butler

The cynical opportunism which characterises the switch of allegiance to the July Monarchy by most of Le Monde de Balzac ‘rallies’ is displayed by du Bruel and the comte de l’Estorade. Balzac had been quick to see the direction that the aristocracy would have to take after the July Revolution. Couture’s prediction is confirmed by Balzac’s account of economic activity under the July Monarchy. For all Balzac’s reservations about the bourgeoisie of the July Monarchy, the bourgeois triumph of 1830 induced Balzac to reappraise the realities of the situation and to redefine the attitudes and measures appropriate to it. The Comedie humaine is far from offering a complete and balanced picture of the bourgeoisie of the July Monarchy. The industrial activity which Balzac describes under the July Monarchy displays many of the features of a retarded economy. Property speculation is an important factor in the lives of a number of Balzac’s characters under the July Monarchy.