By the French author, who, along with Flaubert, is generally regarded as a founding-father of realism in European fiction. His large output of works, collectively entitled The Human Comedy (La Comedie Humaine), consists of 95 finished works (stories, novels and essays) and 48 unfinished works. His stories are an attempt to comprehend and depict the realities of life in contemporary bourgeois France. They are placed in a variety of settings, with characters reappearing in multiple stories.
The action is located during the reign of Charles X (1824-1830) and takes place entirely in the city, called medieval, Provins , in the department of Seine-et-Marne.
Pierrette Lorrain is a young orphan, entrusted by her ruined grandparents to her cousins ??Rogron, two imbecile bachelors. She will be the innocent victim of the manipulations of the characters trying to recover the fortune of Rogron.
It is the doctor Horace Bianchon who denounces the abuse of which the girl is victim and which proposes to its master ( Desplein ) to make it trépaner. Horace assists his master in this delicate operation.
This novel allows Balzac to illustrate the ravages and foolishness of celibacy at the time. He also points to "old girls and old boys, these drones of the hive", null and unproductive.