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Hanska, Éveline, Countess (1801–1882)

Hanska, Éveline, Countess (1801–1882)

Polish-born patron and, eventually, wife of Balzac. Name variations: Eveline Hanska; Madame Hanska; Madame Balzac. Born Éveline Rzewuska in 1801 in Poland; died in 1882; married Count Hanska (died 1842); married Honoré Balzac (the writer), in 1850 (died 1850).

In 1832, a wealthy Polish countess named Éveline Hanska sent a letter of admiration to the great French novelist Honoré Balzac, signing it L'Étrangère (The Stranger or The Foreigner). After an 18-year correspondence that led to a liaison, Hanska married Balzac shortly before he died in 1850. The letters are contained in Lettres à l'Étrangère (1899–1906, 2 vols.).

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