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Fodor's France 2014
Château de Saché
Château de Saché Review
In the center of town is the Château de Saché, which contains the Musée Balzac. If you've never read any of Balzac's "Comédie Humaine," you might find little of interest here; but if you have, and do, you can return to such novels as Cousine Bette and Eugénie Grandet with fresh enthusiasm and understanding. Much of the landscape around here, and some of the people back then, found immortality by being fictionalized in many a Balzac novel. Surrounded by 6 acres of gardens, the present château, built between the 16th and the 18th centuries, is more of a comfortable country house than a fortress. Born in Tours, Balzac came here—to stay with his friends, the Margonnes—during the 1830s, both to write such works as Le Père Goriot and to escape his creditors. The château houses substantial exhibits, ranging from photographs to original manuscripts to the coffee service Balzac used to enjoy the caffeine that helped to keep him writing up to 16 hours a day. A few period rooms impress with 19th-century charm, including a lavish emerald-green salon and the author's writing room. Be sure to study some of the corrected author proofs on display. Balzac had to pay for corrections and additions beyond a certain limit. Painfully in debt, he made emendations filling all the margins of his proofs, causing dismay to his printers. Their legitimate bills for extra payment meant that some of his books, best sellers for nearly two centuries, failed to bring him a centime.
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