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The Marriage Contract (La Comédie Humaine #27)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  167 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Honora de Balzac is considered the founder of social realism. Balzac was the first writer to write about the all social levels of the social scene in France. His vast collection of works encompasses the Restoration period and the July Monarchy. La Comedie Humaine was written between 1799 and 1850. This collection contains 95 novels, stories, and essays. A Marriage Contract ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published May 5th 2006 by Dodo Press (first published 1835)
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Ε.Χ.Γ. ⚓
"Γιατί η αγάπη που γεννιέται απ' τον πόθο είν' η ελπίδα. Η αγάπη που ακολουθεί μετά την ικανοποίηση του πόθου, αυτή είναι η πραγματικότητα."
Το Συμβόλαιο Γάμου είναι ένα βιβλίο που πρέπει να παλέψεις μαζί του και κανένας δε θα σε αδικήσει, αν η ηλικία σου, τα βιώματα σου, η αντίληψη σου και δεν έχεις σκεφτεί προσωπικά ποτέ την ηθική και τη φύση του έρωτα, σε οδηγήσουν να το αφήσεις στην άκρη, θεωρώντας το πληκτικό, ακαταλαβίστικο, ξεπερασμένο. Μέχρι και προχτές το βράδυ με έφτασε στα όρια μου, αλλά τότε συνέβη αυτό: μια πρόσκληση για κρασί σ’ ένα φιλικό σπίτι, έκανα κεφάλι και επειδή ήμουν στα λυπημένα και τα ζορισμένα μου, το αλκοόλ ...more
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

The original French text is available at La Bibliothèque électronique du Québec.

Opening lines:
Monsieur de Manerville le père était un bon gentilhomme normand bien connu du maréchal de Richelieu, qui lui fit épouser une des plus riches héritières de Bordeaux dans le temps où le vieux duc y alla trôner en sa qualité de gouverneur de Guyenne.

Scènes de la vie privée :
3* La maison du Chat-qui-pelote (1830)
3* Le bal de Sceaux (1830)
3* La Bourse (1830)
4* La
Elizabeth (Alaska)
For all except the final chapter, I was thinking Balzac gives us another look at "bad things happen to good people." But Balzac took that a step further and gave us yet another example that, in life, "evil lurks where you least expect it." And at the end, I was reminded of that Zola character who didn't want to read any more Balzac because he was just too sad.

This Spring I have read several pieces of Balzac's shorter fiction. Although I think Eugénie Grandet - my introduction to Balzac - will al
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Balzac has given us many portraits of women--a few good women and a lot of bad women. Often the "bad" women have some redeeming features but not so Madame Evangelista. Much of the novel is concerned with the marriage contract. The portrayal of the two lawyers is excellent. Other characters include Madame Evangelista's daughter Natalie, Comte de Mannerville and Henri de Marsay, all of whom appear in other works of The Human Comedy.
Fazackerly Toast
there's so much stuff about money in this, you feel as though you're involved in the negotiations of a business contract yourself, which frankly is a bit tedious. As usual, the women are venal, treacherous and shallow and the men are idiots or cynics. What a lovely society!
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: balzac
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James F
The marriage between an elegant but weak young man, Paul de Manerville, and the spoiled daughter of a Spanish nobleman, Natalie Evangélista, is undermined from the beginning by a fight over the contract of marriage and the financial arrangements, which causes the mother-in-law to seek revenge against Paul. The plot is difficult to understand because so much depends on the intricacies of early nineteenth century law concerning marriages and inheritances. The impact is also weakened by a long mono ...more
Alex Frame
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved the nitty gritty of the contract negotiations preempting todays prenups.
Notaries representing both sides pre marriage hammer out what will be the marriage contract to the benefit or detriment of either party.
A fun read.
Michael Cayley
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A cynical look at the machinations surrounding marriage as an over-trusting count becomes engaged to a girl brought up to extravagance. We see the subterfuges by which the girl's mother and her lawyer try to protect the mother's fortune, and the efforts of the count's lawyer to safeguard him. Much of this short novel is taken up with issues relating to marriage contracts, and turns on the French legal system, but you do not need to know anything about French law to enjoy the book, as the real su ...more
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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 89 books)
  • La Maison Du Chat-Qui-Pelote
  • The Ball At Sceaux
  • Letters of Two Brides
  • The Purse
  • Modeste Mignon
  • A Start in Life
  • Albert Savarus
  • Vendetta
  • A Second Home
  • Domestic Peace