Balzac in Saché castle: sleepless nights and black coffee

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Balzac, Saché - ©Agota / CC-BY-SA Balzac, Saché - ©Agota / CC-BY-SA
Saché castle Castle Castle of the Loire Valley Honoré de Balzac

Daddy, who are you?

In 1803, Jean Margonne owned the castle with his wife and entirely altered it. But the couple also spent time in their estate in Tours… Among their neighbours, there was the deputy mayor Bernard-François Balzac and his little family, including the little Honoré, one of his son. The gossip says besides that the youngest son Henri and Mr. Margonne were as like as two peas, if you see what I mean...

Little puny boy’ll become an adult

The little Honoré was weak and sick, when he was a kid. So his parents decided to send him in Saché, at the Margonne, to have some rest. He never forget Saché and the little castle… After the success of his first novel, Le Dernier Chouan in 1829, Honoré came back in Saché to rest, always hosted by the Margonne. A place that inspired him, but also a shelter where he could escape from his creditors! Aaah, damned vultures…

A skinflint and a humpbacked lady!

Honoré called Margonne the lord of Saché, but he didn’t like him. He said he was stingy and his wife was pretty grumpy and humpbacked! But the feeling was mutual, Honoré wasn’t kind at all with her… He wrote to his friend Mrs. Hanska: ″Saché is a piece of castle on the river Indre, in the delicious valley of Touraine.

The owner, a 48 years old man, knew me when I was a kid. He had a pious and intolerant wife. I'm here to see him, but I’m free to do what I want.″ Meanwhile, after his death, Margonne the so-called skinflint bequeathed a big sum of money to Honoré...

Writing, always writing!

As soon as he arrived in Saché, Honoré locked himself in his bedroom (his ″monk’s cell″), with the lights on and the shutters closed. He wrote lying or sitting, during 20 hours nonstop. No time for daydream, he worked relentlessly! When he had finish, Honoré ″had holidays″: he woke late, had strolls… Then, after few years, he wanted to write, again! So, it was the end of holidays…

He woke up at 2AM, made some coffee with some slices of bread and started to write on his bed. He worked until 5PM… Honoré said in a letter for his mum that his editors harassed him: he had to write more and more...


And also!