Colonel Chabert (novel)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Le Colonel Chabert (English: Colonel Chabert) is an 1832 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) and included in his series of novels (or Roman-fleuve) known as La Comédie humaine (The Human Comedy) which parodies and depicts French society in the period of the Restoration and the July Monarchy (1815-1848). This novel was adapted for six different motion pictures, including two silent films.

Plot summary

The novel opens with clerks in the Paris law office of Derville, an attorney, looking out the window and mocking a determined old man walking through the streets.

Colonel Chabert marries Rose Chapotel,who was living a modest life. Colonel Chabert then becomes a French cavalry officer who is held in high esteem by Napoleon Bonaparte. After being severely wounded, in the Battle of Eylau (1807), Chabert is recorded as dead and is buried with other French casualties. Though he does survive—after extricating himself from his own grave—and is nursed back to health by local peasants, it takes several years for him to recover. After he recovers, he returns to Paris and discovers his "widow" has married the wealthy Count Ferraud. She has also liquidated all of Chabert's belongings. Seeking to regain his name and monies that were wrongly given away as inheritance, he hires Derville, an attorney, to win back his money and his honor. Derville, who also represents the Countess Ferraud, warns Chabert against accepting a settlement bribe from the Countess. In the end, Chabert walks away empty handed from his widow and spends the rest of his days at a hospice.


  • Hyacinthe Chabert, Colonel
  • Countess Ferraud (formerly Chabert)
  • Count Ferraud
  • Derville
  • Bouchard
  • Godeschal
  • Desroches
  • Simonin
  • Boutin
  • Chamblin
  • Delbecq
  • A Notary

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Colonel Chabert (novel)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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