Balzac’s Madame Fontaine

One of my favorite minor characters in La Comedie Humaine by Honoré de Balzac is Madame Fontaine. The above illustration depicts the scene from Cousin Pons when the colorful fortune teller is using her grand jeu (big pack of tarot cards), the black hen named Cleopatra and the giant toad Astaroth for one of her regular customers, Madame Cibot. She also appeared briefly in Les Comédiens sans le savoir.

7 comments on “Balzac’s Madame Fontaine

  1. Caroline says:

    David Burke whose book Writers in Paris I reviewed not long ago told me in an e-mail today that he is planning on doing literary Paris tours soon. One of them will be called “A Cousin Pons ” walking tour. Doesn’t that sound great? He’s working on a blog right now, once it’s up and running, I’ll let you know. I told him we all love to hear a lot about Balzac and his characters.
    If you have any interesting questions for him, let me know, I will interview him in a few weeks.


    • How cool, thank you! I’m passing this on to the Balzac group at Yahoo and will keep them updated too. The Cousin Pons tour should be fascinating, all that walking about searching out curios and knick-knacks.


  2. Caroline says:

    Here is the link to the post. Mme Vauquer is mentioned too. 🙂


  3. Guy Savage says:

    My favourite character so far: Derville


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