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Ursula (La Comédie Humaine)

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  382 ratings  ·  28 reviews
"Ursula" (original French title "Ursule Mirouet," 1842) forms one part of "Scenes from Provincial Life," a series of novels-whose other major work is "Eugenie Grandet"-examining manners and morals in the French provinces. --- Among all the novels of Honore de Balzac (1799-1850), none depicts so penetratingly the small-mindedness, avarice, and envy of the provincial lower m ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published August 25th 2006 by MONDIAL (first published 1841)
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Lost Illusions by Honoré de BalzacPère Goriot by Honoré de BalzacCousin Bette by Honoré de BalzacEugénie Grandet by Honoré de BalzacA Harlot High and Low by Honoré de Balzac
All about Balzac.
57th out of 57 books — 16 voters
Père Goriot by Honoré de BalzacEugénie Grandet by Honoré de BalzacCousin Bette by Honoré de BalzacLost Illusions by Honoré de BalzacA Woman of Thirty by Honoré de Balzac
The Human Comedy by Balzac
13th out of 16 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Elizabeth (Alaska)
In the early pages of reading this I knew this is why I read Balzac. In those first chapters he presented his characters, set the scene and established the plot in prose at once readable and complex. I was a bit disconcerted, however, because everything seemed too good and too easy - so unlike Balzac.

I need not have worried - as soon as I had those thoughts, Balzac turned the story inside out. Doctor Minoret's legal heirs couldn't trip over themselves quickly enough with their greed - and hate
Dec 30, 2011 Velma rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of wit & social commentary
Recommended to Velma by: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
My first Balzac, and although I hear it's not his absolute best, it was a wild carriage-ride straight through 'til the surprise ending. Definitely more Balzac in my future.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ursule Mirouet (1842)
دکتر همسر مرده ای به نام "دنیس منوره"، اورسولا را بزرگ می کند و از آنجا که میل دارد اورسولا وارث او باشد، با وجودی که تمامی عمر لامذهب بوده، در هشتاد و سه سالگی به مسیحیت می گرود و... اما نزدیکان دکتر که مدعی ثروت او هستند، وصیت نامه ی دکتر را می دزدند، و اورسولا پس از مرگ دکتر، فقیرتر از آن است که دکتر می پنداشته. با این همه نزدیکان دکتر به میراث او دست نمی یابند اما اورسولای فقیر، با مرد آرزویش، جوانی به نام ویسکون ساوینین که افسر ارتش است، ازدواج می کند. اورسولا میرو را ر
I love Balzac's work. His detailed realism of early 19th century France draws such a vivid image of life in that era. And yet I so often hate his "good guy" characters and the unconvincing moral development of his characters. For example, Ursula herself is an utterly flat character; she typifies the Perfectly Moral Lady of the era. She's also sort of annoyingly delicate and lacks sense in a way that Balzac seems to introduce merely as a plot device; it didn't make sense that someone as allegedly ...more
My first Balzac for many years. It took a little getting re-acclimatised to the pace and nuances of early 19th century French society (for example, the use of the name Minoret, sometimes means the Doctor and sometimes the Postmaster).

When I first read Balzac, I preferred him to Dickens at times, because of his lack of sentimentality and that he doesn't always tie everything together in a neat happy ending. He is also more realistic in his characters, not having the gallery of characters that Dic
Sally Tarbox
When elderly Dr Minoret settles in his family home town with a young female ward, Ursule, his vulture-like relatives are ever in the wings waiting to inherit (brilliant almost Dickensian descriptions bring these unsavory folk to life!) They grow to hate Ursule, convinced she is scheming to get 'their' money. Without giving too much away, a crime is committed, there's a touch of the supernatural and a pair of starcrossed lovers...
Had me enthralled from page 1; Balzac at his unputdownable best
Spoiler alert. I loved it! I enjoyed the ending. I love that good won over evil. I liked how the author showed a full range of human behavior, from the most greedy, grabbing, selfish individuals to pure, principled, faith-loving people, and those who reformed their behavior. I loved the heart-warming relationship between Ursula and her godfather, as well as her relationship with the priest and Savinien. Ursula was an inspiration, a model of living a pious life, aiming for self-improvement and pl ...more
j'ai aimé le livre, malgré que Balzac n'est pas mon auteur préféré, mais cette Ursule est jusqu'à maintenant mon meilleur personnage qu'a écrit Balzac.
j'ai aimé la simplicité de ce personnage et le rythme de la vie de province; tous ces complot entre héritier m'ont fait vraiment rire, Balzac a pu peindre ce côté mesquin des êtres humains et j'ai eu pitié pour cette petite :)
Quinn Slobodian
Rural French social classes moving like the Coney Island Cyclone. Old money now poor, new money, old poor money made new money again. All turns on a scrap of paper, a scrip, and eventually, beautifully, on a serial number penciled onto the end-sheets of a book. Libraries are bought at high prices only to be scoured for financial documents, furniture dismantled to find bonds, couches to find stocks. And in the middle of it all, a Swedenborgian psychic intervenes to take us by the hand and lead us ...more
Balzac keenly observes details of society during his time and depicts it clearly and unfiltered in his work. His characters are complex and morally ambiguous thus truly human.
In his book "Ursula" Balzac examines the manners and morals in the French provinces and penetratingly depicts the small-mindedness, avarice, and envy of the provincial lower middle classes, who will go to any length no matter how immoral or indecent to acquire wealth and influence.
Dr. Minoret, eighty-three and wealthy, has a fifteen year old ward, Ursula Mirouette. A very sweet girl without the wiles or inclination to fight against the doctor's avarious relatives.

There is humor in this story, especially with the different family branches and keeping their names straight but it gets a bit more serious when the doctor dies and his will is missing. Now each of the heirs is fighting for the major share of the inheritance.
I'm glad my mother had me read Balzac as a teenager. Back then it was exciting, new, with unexpected turns. Ursula was one I hadn't read yet. But reading it now, as an adult, it was somewhat boring, old, predictable. I think I have read so much about that era, that most of the story lines that were thrilling for a teenager, and even for Balzac's contemporaries, are just same-old same-old for me now.
Narendra Jussien
Ursule Mirout est une histoire de revenants et de revenus ! Le bon docteur Minoret revient d'entre les morts (une justification par le magntisme animal est propose par Balzac) pour rtablir dans son bon droit sa filleule Ursule spolie par ses innomables hritiers. Balzac nous tient sans nous lcher d'un bout l'autre dans cette histoire ! ...more
This wasn't my favorite of Balzac's works, but it is certainly not one of his worst. It has a few unconvincing moments, but for the most part it is a pretty good example of Balzac's finer work. I mean, it is no "Lost Illusions," "A Harlot High and Low," or "Father Goriot," but it is still a well written story. Much better than "Seraphita."
There's some silly nonsense in this story: somnambulism, prescient dreams and premonitions and a Hand of God that's very heavy indeed, but somehow Balzac manages to pull it off. I can't say that I think Ursula's marriage is going to be one made in heaven either!
I read this in French, so ya, I missed a few nuances. In general I like the 19th century writers and spefically Balzac always turns out a good tale, but unless you are taking Balzac course you'll probably never need to encounter this particular story.
Fazackerly Toast
well this one was so riveting I could barely turn the pages fast enough. I gave up reading the French, I was so keen to find out what happened. Then I had to go back and read the French after.
Scott Wilson
A short, complicated story that is overlooked due to the Balzac's prolific writing. It can be finished in a day and is well worth it provided that you are a Balzac fan.
Jeannie Donovan

Never finished, so I feel I can't rate. I hate unfinished books but this just did not translate for me.
Now, a book just about the Abbe and the Doctor (and his frenemy) would have been excellent!
Steve Gordon
Brilliant short work - old Balzac drives you hard to the last page.
had to downgrade the rating because the ending was lame (IMHO)
Music Man Made me read this. The French aren't so bad.
One of my favorite Balzac books. A thrilling end.
William Jenkins
I pronounce this the summer of Balzac!
Did not finish
NoahTross marked it as to-read
Nov 27, 2015
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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
  • The Ball At Sceaux
  • Letters of Two Brides
  • The Purse
  • Modeste Mignon
  • A Start in Life (Dodo Press)
  • Albert Savarus
  • Vendetta
  • A Second Home
  • Domestic Peace

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