This book is part two of a trilogy. Part one, Two Poets, begins the story of Lucien, his sister Eve, and his friend David in the provincial town of Angouleme. Part two is centered on Lucien's Parisian life. Part three, Eve and David, reverts to the setting of Angouleme. In many references parts one and three are combined under the title Lost Illusions and A Distinguished Provincial at Paris is given its individual title. Following this trilogy Lucien's story is continued in another book, Scenes from a Courtesan's Life.