Ewa Szypula French Letters Calligraphy

My latest project is a book about the intriguing correspondence between the novelist Honoré de Balzac and his literary lover, a Polish countess named Evelina Hanska – documenting an idealized romance which might be seen as his last great novel.

Balzacs Love Letters with peony by Pippa Rimmer

Photo credit: Pippa Rimmer

Balzac’s Love Letters: Correspondence and the Literary Imagination focuses on how the relationship developed from a fan letter to a full-blown romantic affair; how the (largely epistolary) relationship managed to survive so long; and how Balzac appears to have enjoyed precisely what he complained were its main difficulties – the lengthy periods of separation and the lack of physical contact. His letters ‘create’ a perfect Évelina Hanska, the novelist essentially shaping his own Muse.

Balzac's Love Letters

Photo and calligraphy by Pippa Rimmer

This study was originally funded by the AHRC and more recently won the prestigious MHRA Scholarship, enabling it to be developed into a book.

And it was just before Christmas 2016 that I finally got to hold a copy of the book in my hands!…


To join my mailing list and receive updates about the book and future projects, email szypulae ‘at’ gmail.com with ‘Balzac’s Love Letters’ in the subject box.

Copyright Ewa Szypula 2017. All right reserved