In May 1832, Balzac suffered a head injury when his tilbury carriage crashed in a Parisian street. Although he was not hurt badly, he wrote to a friend about his worry that "some of the cogs in the mechanism of my brain may have got out of adjustment". His doctor ordered him to rest and refrain from writing and other mental activity. When he had recuperated, he spent the summer at the Château de Saché, just outside the city of Tours, with a family friend, Jean de Margonne.
While in Saché, he wrote a short novel called Notice biographique sur Louis Lambert about a misfit boy genius interested in metaphysics. Like "Les Proscrits", Louis Lambert was a vehicle for Balzac to explore the ideas that had fascinated him, particularly those of Swedenborg and Louis Claude de Saint-Martin. He hoped the work would "produce an effect of incontestable superiority". and provide "a glorious rebuttal" to critics who ridiculed his interest in metaphysics.