HONORÉ DE BALZAC (1799–1850), was born at Tours, educated at the Collège de Vendôme, and studied law at the Sorbonne. His father wished him to become a notary, but he left Tours in 1819 to seek his fortune as an author in Paris. He wrote eighty-five novels in twenty years, but his life was one of frequent privation. In 1850, he married Madame Hanska, a rich Polish lady with whom he had corresponded for more than fifteen years but only just met in person. Three months later, Balzac died at Paris.
FREDERICK DAVIDSON (1932–2005) was born in London and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He performed in BBC radio plays before coming to America in 1976. The narrator of more than eight hundred audiobooks, he garnered numerous Earphones Awards and a Grammy nomination for his readings. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine in 1997.