Concept

Ursule Mirouët

Summary
Ursule Mirouët, a novel, belongs to Honoré de Balzac’s series of 94 novels and short stories La Comédie humaine. First published in 1841, it forms part of his Scènes de la vie de province. The action of the novel takes place in Nemours, though with flashbacks to Paris. It is set in the years 1829–1837. Plot summary Ursule is the legitimate daughter of the widower Dr Denis Minoret’s deceased illegitimate brother-in-law by marriage, Joseph Mirouët; not only is she the doctor’s niece, she is also his goddaughter and ward. Fifteen years old when the novel begins, she has been brought up by the doctor. Dr Minoret, an atheist rather than an agnostic, and a devoted student of the Encyclopédie, has persisted in his rationalistic atheism for most of his eighty-three years. At the beginning of the novel he is, however, converted to Christianity – emotionally by the example of Ursule’s piety, and intellectually by his experience of animal magnetism, or the paranormal, and by his long
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