[Novels about artists]
Besides the large novels that make up the so-called Human Comedy, Honoré de Balzac is the creator of a vast number of small-scale works, unknown masterpieces waiting to be rediscovered. This collection presents readers with five acclaimed stories about art and artists in which Balzac endowed a theme particularly close to his heart with a fusion of romance and realism.
How devastating viruses, pandemics, and other natural catastrophes swept through the far-flung Roman Empire and helped to bring down one of the mightiest civilizations of the ancient world
Here is the monumental retelling of one of the most consequential chapters of human history: the fall of the Roman Empire. The Fate of Rome is the first book to examine the catastrophic role that climate change and infectious diseases played in the collapse of Rome’s power—a story of nature’s triumph over human ambition.
One of the greatest French novelists, Balzac was also an accomplished writer of shorter fiction. This volume includes seven of his finest short stories on a wide range of topics and fully demonstrates the mastery of suspense and revelation that were the hallmarks of Balzac’s genius.
Václav Polívka (1927-1971) was born into Czechoslovakia’s elite, roughly eight years after the country emerged from the ruins of Austria-Hungary. In this diary, which was found in an attic in Oslo, Norway in 2012, the young medical student with a strong interest in classical music describes three crucial years for Europe, which, beginning in 1945, was moving from World War with Nazi occupation to Cold War with communist dictatorship.