Edmond de Goncourt (1822–1896) and Jules de Goncourt
(1830–1870) spent the majority of their lives in Paris. Having attended the finest schools,
the Goncourts formed one of the most famous literary partnerships. After an unsuccessful novel
and some attempts at drama, they began publishing books on various aspects of art and society in
eighteenth-century France. Between 1860 and 1869 the brothers published six novels which they
described as “history which might have taken place” and which were as carefully documented
as their historical works.