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The Duchesse De Langeais
Honoré de Balzac
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The Duchesse De Langeais (The Thirteen #2)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  507 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
This engrossing story takes us to a Spanish city in the wake of the French Revolution. The drama unfolds as the central character, Duchess de Langeais, seeks refuge in a convent. Balzac reveals the vain pretensions of the aristocrats with his signature wit and subtlety. Riveting!
Published January 1st 2006 by ReadHowYouWant (first published 1834)
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Amanda Lila

The descriptions are so long, chapter-long, as usual. But if you are patient enough to read that, I'm sure you will enjoy the book. Too bad that I like dialogues a lot more than descriptions, so I did not like this book as much as I first thought I would when I picked it up.
Apr 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the three novelettes that are grouped together as The History of the Thirteen, along with Ferragus: Chief of the Companions of Duty and The Girl with the Golden Eyes. The whole notion is that there is a secret society of wealthy gentlemen in Paris called The Thirteen which has powers approaching the supernatural.

In this book, Antoinette, the Duchesse de Langeais trifles with the feelings of General Armande de Montriveau, who is a member of the Thirteen. On the advice of one of his
Adriana Scarpin
Existe uma razão do porquê Simone de Beauvoir escolheu Stendhal e não Balzac para fazer suas elucubrações a respeito de como um bom autor descreve suas personagens femininas, Balzac tão famoso por suas mulheres comete pecado atrás de pecado ao descrevê-las de maneira uniforme sem explorar a subjetividade – como se ser mulher consistisse de um amalgama social e não apenas um constructo. Resumindo, ele escreve bem pra caralho e aquela descrição do Fairbourg Saint German é uma obra prima à parte, m ...more
Eddie Watkins
The reason I got married was to effectively release myself from the pains and vicissitudes of a life led looking for love, so as to be able to concentrate my energies on reading, thus I am not all that interested in books about the pains and vicissitudes of lives led looking for love.
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c19th, france, kindle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gláucia Renata
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Publicado em 1834, o livro faz parte da série "História dos Treze", contida em Estudos de Costumes - Cenas da Vida Parisiense.
Dividido em 4 capítulos, inicia-se a história com a descrição de um convento situado na costa espanhola onde uma mulher se retirou da vida parisiense e é procurada loucamente por um homem. A partir daí conheceremos os fatos que os levaram a isso.
Os personagens são a sedutora duquesa de Langeais que resolve brincar com o coração do sr. Montriveau, general de coração puro e
Özge Mö
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"İnsanlar kendilerinden üstün olmamıza izin verirler ama kendileri kadar alçalmamızı asla bağışlamazlar. Bu yüzden büyük karakterlere karşı besledikleri his azıcık nefret ve korku dolu olmadan olmaz. Onurun fazlası onlar için sessizce geliştirilecek bir şeydir ve bunu ne yaşayanlarda ne de ölülerde bağışlarlar.

"Bir erkeğin arzusu hiç saklanabilir mi ? Her kadın fizyonomideki birtakım sarsıntıların ilmine doğuştan vakıf değil midir ? "

"....Madam Düşes, Tanrı kadına kalbini verdiğinin kanıtı olara
A wealthy and sternly disciplined convent of the Order of Barefoot Carmelites survived the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. It was here that the Duchesse de Langeais sought refuge after fleeing Paris.
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xixème, france, fiction
Les personnages sont à la fois sinistres et peu crédibles. Dommage!
Daria Zheglo
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No 50 shades in this book. Straight up dark romance. I’m sure Balzac was actually Russian.
Ioana Diț
"Iubirea trebuie să știi s-o plasezi bine, căci numai ultima iubire a unei femei poate să satisfacă prima iubire a unui bărbat"
Emre Başatlı
Napolyon savaşlarının sona ermesiyle yaşanan çalkantılı Bourbon restorasyon döneminde, Napolyon'un gözdesi savaş kahramanı bir general (Armand) ile dönemin soylu ailelerinden birine mensup ama fingirdek ve biraz da edepsiz bir düşes (Antoinette) arasında, 1820 'li yıllarda geçen, sonunda kızımızın (Antoinette) kendisini ulaşılması zor bir manastıra gizlediği, uyumsuz ve dolayısıyla başarısız bir aşk (tarafımca çok da tutkulu olduğu hissedilemeyen) hikayesi.
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most beautiful passages I've ever read was the scene when Sister Therèse knows Montriveau is outside the convent and she speaks to him through the music she plays on the organ.
Balzac is known for beautifully conveying the full range of human sentiment and complexity in his characters. He is also known for digressing from the storytelling to devote several pages to his detailed, didactic explanation on the current state of affairs, and so would be interesting to students of history as
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Neste romance, Balzac escreveu um primeiro capítulo fenomenal. E um epílogo formidável. É uma narrativa da qual o cinema se apropriou com maestria. O primeiro capítulo conta uma situação dramática que, misteriosa, demanda do escritor uma explicação retrospectiva. O problema é que a retrospectiva é maçante. Balzac, como sempre, faz um panorama social (curiosamente, não tão inspirado como em outras obras), depois foca em alguns personagens, destrincha-os, para depois se confundir com eles, e se es ...more
Mar 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmm, it is difficult to unambiguously difine my attitude towards this novella... On the one hand, the plot is quite outdated and the feminist in me is outraged - the book ends in a phrase smth like: "Only the last love of a woman can satisfy the first love of a man!" and the whole plot deals with the fact that a woman DARED not to give herself immediately to the man who decided that he loved her.

But if one looks beyond the romantic and quite a bit sexist plot of the novella, one would find that
Belle et triste histoire d'amour, intrigues des Treize, et aussi critique des coquettes du faubourg-Saint-Germain, . De magnifiques descriptions :
"La religion dominant la vie, en en offrant sans cesse aux hommes la fin et les moyens, image tout espagnole d'ailleurs ! Jetez ce paysage au milieu de la Méditerranée, sous un ciel brûlant ; accompagnez-le de quelques palmiers, de plusieurs arbres rabougris, mais vivaces qui mêlaient leurs vertes frondaisons agitées aux feuillages sculptés de l'archit
Megan Chance
The second of Balzac's trilogy "The Thirteen." I liked this one a bit better than "Ferragus," which was the first in the trilogy, and I'm enjoying Balzac quite a bit. His descriptions of Paris, the people and the culture are never boring, and he sets the scene beautifully. He is, however, a man of his time, and so his depictions of women in particular are a bit jarring, even for someone who's read a lot of classic literature (and who should be used to it). But the plot moves you along, as well a ...more
This short novel is partly a strong indictment of the arrogant, self-indulgent class of nobles that regained ascendancy after 1815 Bourbon Restoration, but mainly Balzac tells us the story of the obsessive infatuation of a former Napoleonic military officer for a young married noblewoman. Despite the emphasis on presenting the contemporary restrictions on expressing one's true love interest, Balzac also makes us consider whether personal character traits are just as or even more important to suc ...more
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, xixe-siècle
Encore une fois, Balzac nous offre une belle histoire d'amour impossible. Les deux sont amoureux fou l'un de l'autre mais malheureusement, la Duchesse est mariée. S'ensuit donc un bataille d'égo qui les atteindra émotivement les deux et les poussera à commettre stupidité par dessus stupidité.

Les deux parties que j'ai le plus aimé sont le kidnapping de la duchesse et la fin. Dans ce livre, tout passe par les émotion que Balzac décrit à merveille. Il a très bien saisi la psychologie humaine même s
Richard Smith
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because Marguerite Yourceneau wrote about how remarkable it is in Memoirs of Hadrian. I agree, and it's an intoxicating read--like drinking absinthe all day. Could I read mu way through all of Balzac before dying? Perhaps. I've read some already.

I've gathered my thoughts in a blog, which again gives away the plot. I've also collected some great quotes:
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A novella, usually bundled up with other tales by Balzac of "the Thirteen". I bought this whilst I was in Langeais (even though the town never actually features in the book). Flirting and love between the Duchesse de Langeais and General Armande de Montriveau. Lots of long speeches and descriptive text, but builds up a fantastic sense of French high society of the time through this.
Note to self - must read more Balzac.
it's a great book with beautiful passages in which the sound of the piano is like a sad music for the heart. I loved the fact that many passages are extraordinarily well written, I love Balzac's good writing. However, even if I loved the beggining of this book, I hated the ending. Too much pain, to much cruelty in the end.
Devan Sipher
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you only read one book by Balzac, make it this one. If you don't plan on reading any books by Balzac, read it anyway. And try not to weep.
Bao Khanh
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible et violent amour. Une très belle histoire.
Désormais, Balzac devient un des mes auteurs préférés de la littérature française du XIXe siècle.
Fazackerly Toast
well I wasn't expecting that! but there's a movie by Jacques rivette which I am now going to watch and find out what to think
Jun 12, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The most you get from this book is the feeling of how desperately Balzac needed the money.
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mi-a facut placere sa citesc acest roman, la fel cum s-a intamplat cu toate romanele lui pe care le-am citit pana acum. Nu ma plictiseste niciodata si niciodata nu-mi da impresia ca stiu povestea.
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Интересен роман...но не бих го прочела отново защото изисква време да се прочетат големи детайли..
Jun 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, french
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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

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“Yes,' Montriveau went on in an unsteady voice, 'this Catholic faith to which you wish to convert me is a lie that men make for themselves; hope is a lie at the expense of the future; pride, a lie between us and our fellows; and pity, and prudence, and terror are cunning lies. And now my happiness is to be one more lying delusion; I am expected to delude myself, to be willing to give gold coin for silver to the end. If you can so easily dispense with my visits; if you confess me neither as your friend nor your love, you do not care for me! And I, poor fool that I am, tell myself this, and know it, and love you!” 2 likes
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