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Letters of Two Brides (La Comédie Humaine)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  198 ratings  ·  15 reviews
By the French author, who, along with Flaubert, is generally regarded as a founding-father of realism in European fiction. His large output of works, collectively entitled The Human Comedy (La Comedie Humaine), consists of 95 finished works (stories, novels and essays) and 48 unfinished works. His stories are an attempt to comprehend and depict the realities of life in con ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published May 5th 2006 by Dodo Press (first published 1841)
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Lisa
Marvellous! I don't usually record the short stories I'm reading from Balzac's Comedie Humaine here on Good Reads, but this one is longer than most and quite intriguing. It's written entirely as letters, mostly between Renee and her friend Louise, and it contrasts Renee's rather prosaic marriage and her love of her children with Louise's two marriages, both based on extraordinary passion. There's a rather melodramatic ending, but still, a satisfying story and one that's a good introduction to Ba ...more
Laura


Opening:
A GEORGES SAND.
Ceci, cher Georges [Bien que Sand ait toujours écrit son prénom, George, sans s, nous respectons ici la graphie de l'édition Furne, que Balzac n'a pas corrigée.], ne saurait rien ajouter à l'éclat de votre nom, qui jettera son magique reflet sur ce livre; mais il n'y a là de ma part ni calcul, ni modestie. Je désire attester ainsi l'amitié vraie qui s'est continuée entre nous à travers nos voyages et nos absences, malgré nos travaux et les méchancetés du monde. Ce sentim
...more
twrctdrv
every Balzac novel seems to follow the same pattern: a relatively slow beginning picks up more and more as it goes on until, by the time you get to the middle, you suddenly realize you've become so drawn into the novel that you almost forgot the distinction between it and reality, and you continue in this state of confused reality until you reach the end of the novel and Balzac throws in a moral so dated to his time and so far from your own moral compass that you're torn from the reality of the ...more
Gláucia Renata
O título faz parte das Cenas da Vida Privada e foi publicado em 1841. É um romance epistolar onde duas jovens amigas, recém saídas de um convento onde permaneceram após 9 anos voltam a seus lares. Renata vai para a província e acaba se casando por lá. Ela tem ideias simples, de ser esposa mas, principalmente, mãe. Luísa vai para Paris, vive a atribulada vida social da corte e tem o amor e a paixão por ideiais. Ambas se casam dentrode suas ambições e vão trocando suas experiências, alegrias, tris ...more
K.
Before beginning: I have loved Balzac in the past. I enjoy epistolary novels. Looking forward to it as something a little different from what I've been reading lately.

Beginning: Somewhat mystified. Am not sufficiently learned in French cultural literacy. If correct, I surmised that both young women, Louise and Renee, (the novel's main characters) had been placed in convents as young children, for two purposes; 1) education; 2)in hopes that they would remain there so their families could use the
...more
Jim
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Joel Beard
One of my favorite Balzacs. The structure of the letters written by two such different women is masterful, revealing their characters and the dramas of their lives through their two voices and, of course, the words each chooses, lifting the curtain a bit more on their loves, sorrows and confusions with each letter.
Hinata
yes, i am biased. I realize that Balzac has pieces that are more recognized and, perhaps, better written. This one, however, is my personal favorite, as this one is so close to my reality. My friend and I were inspired by this book so much, that we still keep writing paper letter to each other from time to time, even though we chat and whatsap everyday. Skype could be very close to real-time conversation, but no one can deny that old fashioned letters have their own charm.
Yves Panis
Roman épistolaire (comme les extraordinaires Liaisons dangereuses de Laclos) où deux jeunes mariées racontent leur vie. L'une choisit la province et le mariage serein mais sans amour. L'autre Paris et les amours passionnées. Superbe. Moraliste forcément. Mais style exceptionnel. Disparu aujourd'hui hélas trois fois hélas !
Dagny
Letters of Two Brides is an epistolary novel. The two brides are Louise de Chaulieu (Madame Gaston) and Renee de Maucombe (Madame l'Estorade). The women became friends during their education at a convent and upon leaving began a life-long correspondence. Their stories, marriages, children, and adventures are revealed in letter form between the two confidants.

This was my first experience reading a novel completely written in letters and I had my doubts about whether or not I would enjoy it. Howev
...more
Karen Chung
Original French title: Mémoire de deux jeune mariées. I listened to this as a Librivox audio book, mixing both the English and French readings and texts. In spite of an overly contrived ending, I enjoyed this a lot – it’s basically Balzac sharing things he’d thought about relating to love, passion, duty, marriage, equality and inequality in relationships, in the form of letters between two young former nuns returning to secular life and society. It's a book I'd read again, partly for French prac ...more
Fazackerly Toast
that was actually not too bad. Renee on her love for her children was excellent. the ending was ridiculous though. Louise was a Romantic idiot from beginning to end and when everyone in the book keeps banging on about how spirituelle she is and so plein d'esprit you feel like saying, oh yeah? bet you wouldn't be so impressed if she weren't also dazzlingly beautiful, because frankly she's behaving like a total banana head.
Narendra Jussien
Deux amies quittent le couvent, faute de vocation, et se marient, l'une �� Paris (Louise) et l'autre en province (Ren��e). L'une, romantique et exalt��e, mourra jeune apr��s deux mariages domin��s par la passion; l'autre, sage et ambitieuse, contracte un mariage de convenance qui, gr��ce �� sa diplomatie et �� son ��nergie, sera finalement heureux. De tr��s belles pages sur la maternit�� et sur la passion !
Bonnie Oman
This book was really great. It has some of the sweetest sentiments of motherhood and love. The style of writing is a little wordy and poetic but it's well worth it. One of the most interesting feelings from the book I got was that mothers and wives have the same feeling and fears that we do today. It made me feel that all though this book is very old that these women were my next door neighbors.

Yuliia
I thought it was awesome and I would want to re-read it ( which is unbelievable). I will keep this book in my library, very-very nice!
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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
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More about Honoré de Balzac...

Other Books in the Series

La Comédie Humaine (1 - 10 of 86 books)
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  • The Ball At Sceaux
  • The Purse
  • Modeste Mignon
  • A Start in Life (Dodo Press)
  • Albert Savarus
  • Vendetta
  • A Second Home
  • Domestic Peace
  • Madame Firmiani
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