This is a casual listing of major world authors, whose sex lives have probably been much more difficult to document than those of even minor Czech writers, according to Tomas’s editor friend, since the latter had presumably been bugged and under surveillance by Soviet secret police.
Voltaire was the pen name of François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), writer, philosopher, and wit of the French Enlightenment. Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) was a French novelist and playwright of 19th-century realism. (Shown at right is an 1842 daguerreotype of Balzac by Louis-Auguste Bisson.)
Tolstoy was of course the Russian author of Anna Karenina (see Bookmarks, pages 8 and 24).