chapter  10
The 1848 Revolution
WithRonnie Butler
Pages 11

The great threat to which Le Monde de Balzac drew attention was that to which he believed all the effects of the Revolution ultimately contributed, namely the rise of popular forces eager to inherit the materialism engendered by the Revolution and sanctified by 1830. The urging of autocratic solutions grows in force in keeping with Balzac’s conviction of the inevitability of future revolution. Immediately after the July Revolution, Balzac had at first ruled out the likelihood of a fresh outbreak of revolution. In 1830, Balzac was staying in Touraine with Mme de Berny when Charles X was overthrown, and his silence on the July Revolution was only broken when the Lettres sur Paris began to appear in the September. Balzac’s view of the history of the July Monarchy, the view which serves as the basis of his critique of the revolution of 1848, is consistently clear.