XIXth volume of works of Honoré de Balzac edited by widow André Houssiaux, publisher, Hebert and Co, successors, 7 rue Perronet – Paris (1877)

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Le Faiseur Mercadet


LE FAISEUR Comedy in five acts and prose Entirely in accordance with the author’s manuscript.

The Maker is a play by Honoré de Balzac written in 1840, printed in September 1848 and premiered under the title Mercadet a year after his death, on August 24, 1851 at the Théâtre du Gymnase, then at the Comédie Française on October 22, 1868, in a version revised by Adolphe d’Ennery. In 1957, Jean Vilar produced a new version under the title Le Faiseur . It premiered at the Comédie-Française on April 3, 1993.

The Story Monsieur Mercadet is one of Paris’s leading businessmen. He’s famous for stirring up the commercial world and making juicy deals on the stock market. Behind this advantageous façade, Monsieur Mercadet is in fact a man ruined by unfortunate speculation. Nevertheless, a smooth talker, he lies with great aplomb, deceiving his creditors and the world about his bankruptcy. To get out of his predicament and make a fortune, he plans to marry off his daughter Julie, an ugly, unattractive person. Two suitors fight over her. The first, Minard, an orphan taken in by Father Vidal, is a low-income employee. His love is sincere. The second Mr. de la Brive, a dandy in his own right, only wants to marry Julie for her alleged dowry, as he himself is riddled with debt. But Mercadet’s desperate situation meant that he couldn’t put one together for him. A whole series of misunderstandings ensues, with Mercadet believing M. de la Brive to be rich, and M. de la Brive believing Mercadet to be rich, even though both are ruined. The cat’s out of the bag and de La Brive is back in the game. When all seems hopeless and Mercadet finds himself disgraced and reduced to a stint in prison, an unexpected event saves the day. By chance, Minard meets up with his father, who has returned from India rich and prosperous. He marries Julie and pays off Mercadet’s debts. All’s well that ends well.

Source: Wikipedia.

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