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Le Bal De Sceaux (La Comédie Humaine)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  184 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
C'est l'histoire d'une jeune fille aristocratique qui a déjà refusé plusieurs prétendants, sous prétexte qu'ils ne sont pas des pairs de France. Mais elle rencontre un jeune homme mystérieux au "Bal de Sceaux». Ce jeune homme ne révèle pas son identité et ne semble intéressé par sa sœur, une fille fragile. Mais il n'est pas totalement insensible à l'attention de Emilie et ...more
96 pages
Published 2004 by Gallimard (first published 1829)
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Mar 24, 2017 Paradoxe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Μου άρεσε όταν ήμουν μικρός να τρώω πολλούς λωτούς. Μεγαλώνοντας έμοιαζε κι η ζωή τόσο πολύ όσο πέρναγα απ’ την εφηβεία στην ενηλικίωση με αυτό το φρούτο, γλυκιά γεύση που αφήνει κάτι που στεγνώνει, μουδιάζει. Σαν τη ματαιοδοξία.

Μπαλζάκ με όλα του τα γνωρίσματα σ’ ένα σύντομο κεφάτο περιστατικό απ’ τη ζωή μιας κοπέλας που παραπέρνει στοργή απ’ το σπίτι, μια ‘’βενιαμίν’’ στην οποία οι τύψεις απ’ τους χειρισμούς των πρώτων βημάτων του μπαμπά και της μαμάς ως γονείς κι η τελευταία ευκαιρία να ζήσο
Ben Dutton
Feb 07, 2012 Ben Dutton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Ball at Sceaux is one of the oldest books in Balzac’s La Comédie Humaine. It was the fifth written book. It’s storyline is derivative, for he seems inspired by Aleksandr Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin and the fables of La Fontaine, especially La Fille (“The Girl”) and Héron (“The Heron”). Nevertheless, he is able to put a typically Balzacian twist upon them.

Émilie de Fontaine is in desperate need to be titled: she will love nobody unless they are known in French society. At the ball at Sceaux she f
Jun 28, 2009 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josh Friedlander
May 02, 2016 Josh Friedlander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
The snobby Emilie learns that beauty and good breeding don't exempt her from the rules, and that people should not be judged by their outward appearance. Fascinating for me was the view of Restoration France, and the jostling for patronage around Louis XVIII in between the eras of Napoleonic Empire and the Third Republic. Fashions and politics may change - our own egalitarian times have none of the bias toward ancestry that these characters exhibit - but it is still true that "happiness comes fr ...more
Fazackerly Toast
Apr 27, 2014 Fazackerly Toast rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
poor Emilie! Granted she's horrible, but you've still got to feel a bit sorry for her - after all, it's not her fault that she's the way she is. I take some comfort from thinking that Longueville is clearly such a superior person the marriage probably wouldn't have worked out well anyway.
James F
The second novella in the Comédie humaine, this also deals with love and marriage; where La maison du Chat-qui-pelote the couple come to grief by following their love and ignoring the differences in culture and class, in this book the young spoiled protagonist Emilie de Fontaine risks her chance at happiness by putting too much emphasis on nobility in her suitors. In terms of the Comédie humaine as a whole, the subject is the nobility of the early Restoration period; the father, the Count de Fon ...more
Paolo D'Amelio
Sep 23, 2015 Paolo D'Amelio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pur trattandosi di uno dei primi scritti del Balzac investigatore della "vie privée", la novella non si rivela un episodio minore nell'affresco della "Comédie". Si tratta bensì di una storia amara, sull'insoddisfazione e sul pericolo di rimanere fedeli fino all'ultimo ad un ideale, e per di più sbagliato.
La trama è in linea con la produzione successiva; non voglio svelarla ma basti dire che dà modo allo scrittore, di intonare il canto del cigno per l'epoca in cui a dettar legge socialmente era i
Oct 18, 2011 Yves rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xixe-siècle, france
M. de Fontaine est un comte qui a combattu pour la monarchie durant la révolution. Lors de la restauration, celui-ci retrouve peu à peu ses privilèges en se rapprochant du roi Louis XVIII. Il réussi à obtenir des postes importants pour ses fils et à bien marier ses deux premières filles. Il ne reste qu'Émilie à marier, un jeune fille très capricieuse qui ne trouve aucun homme de son goût. Tout change lorsqu'elle fait la rencontre de le mystérieux Maximilien. La question que se pose Émilie et son ...more
Gláucia Renata
Nov 04, 2014 Gláucia Renata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Esse é o segundo título do volume 1 da Comédia Humana. trata-se de uma novela que traz como personagem o conde de Fountaine, cujo maior problema na vida é conseguir um marido para a filha mais nova, Emilia. Orgulhosa e exigente ao extremo, não existia candidato capaz de atender suas inúmeras exigências, entre as quais, a principal seria a de que ele fosse um par de França. Até que ela conhece Longueville. E agora? Muitas reviravoltas aguardam o leitor nessa pequena novela.

""Ah! Não falemos de po
This is the second book of book of La Comédie Humaine - Scènes de la vie privée.

According to Wikipedia "the first edition of this novella was published in 1830 by Mame and Delaunay-Vallée in the Scènes de la vie privée (Scenes of Private Life). It was republished in 1835 by Madame Charles-Béchet, in 1839 in the Charpentier edition, and then in 1842 in the first volume of the Furne edition of la Comédie Humaine".

The English version can be found at The Ball at Sceaux.

The original French text at Wi
Yen Ba
May 29, 2012 Yen Ba rated it it was ok
Shelves: french
C'était meilleur que ce à quoi je me suis attendue. Je suis même un peu surprise de reconnaître que j'ai suis assez intéressée par le livre et ai pris du plaisir à le lire. Mais bon, Balzac reste Balzac, son écriture reste trop compliqué et antique pour mon goût; et à vrai dire, si on en tire vraiment un schéma narratif et dissèque le réalisme des personnages, je ne peux pas donner 3 étoiles. 3 étoiles sur Goodreads signifient "I liked it", et j'ai donné 3 étoiles à d'autres livres que j'ai aimé ...more
Tatiana Pereira
This is a short novella, so it is a good place to start if you're just beginning to read Balzac.

As always, Balzac's prose is delightful. He paints a great picture of the background, draws life-like characters the reader feels almost related to, and then sets them in motion towards the crucial moment of the story. Unfortunately, the end of this story feels a little rushed. After the colorful set up of the first pages, it seems that its end does not do it justice.
Michael Cayley
A short novel centred on the vain, spoilt daughter of an old provincial upper-class family shortly after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Her pride and sarcastic wit ruin her chances of happiness. The plot is slight, but the way Balzac writes, and his depiction of the lead character, make the work a small masterpiece.
Young Emilie de Fontaine is considering what she would prefer in a husband. At nineteen she is the darling of her relatives and tyrannizes ruthlessly over them. Having decided that she will settle for nothing less than the son of a peer of France, she treats her admirers with scorn. She is intrigued by a handsome young man she sees at the ball but is unable to discover his identity.
Dec 30, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, c19th, france
Not so keen on this one, the characterisation of Emilie is too black-and-white and the ending too 'serves-her-right' predictable.
My summary is at
Yves Panis
Superbe deuxième nouvelle de la Comédie Humaine. La dernière fille d'un riche noble laisse passer l'homme de sa vie...parce qu'il n'est pas noble et riche....
Jul 02, 2010 Emilie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mais quelle affreuse snob cette Emilie!!
Feb 09, 2016 Valentin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great moralistic short story about how one's happiness is restricted by one's own beliefs.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joyce M. Tice
May 23, 2013 Joyce M. Tice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Human nature has not changed in these two centuries. Emilie is inflexible and a snob, and lives to regret it - and she deserved to be miserable.
François Frémeau
Agréable petite nouvelle, presque sous la forme d'une fable décrivant les changements de la société sous la Restauration et les méfaits de l'arrogance aristocratique de cette époque.
Tamara Barringer
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Jan 11, 2013
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Honoré de Balzac was a nineteenth-century French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of almost 100 novels and plays collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the fall of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1815.

Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders o
More about Honoré de Balzac...

Other Books in the Series

La Comédie Humaine (1 - 10 of 88 books)
  • La Maison Du Chat-Qui-Pelote
  • Letters of Two Brides
  • The Purse
  • Modeste Mignon
  • A Start in Life
  • Albert Savarus
  • Vendetta
  • A Second Home
  • Domestic Peace
  • Madame Firmiani

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