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The Lily of the Valley by Honoré de Balzac
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Showing 4 of 4
beautiful love story
By sally tarbox on 15 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
This was apparently Balzac's favourite work and I can see why. It's written as a letter from a young man to his lover who has demanded to know his past. Felix has a sad early life as a child rejected by his mother (a theme Balzac also focusses on in 'A Woman of Thirty'). But then he meets the beautiful Madame Mortsauf, and the developing love between them, maternal at first, later passionate yet- at her insistence- always chaste, forms the main part of the book. The descriptions of the Mortsauf family, with the irascible, almost insane, husband who makes his wife's life so hard, and the two fragile children; and of the Touraine countryside are exquisite. The years of unfulfilled love roll by and Felix falls prey to a sensuous Englishwoman; 'Lady Arabelle...was the mistress of the flesh; Mme de Mortsauf was the wife of the spirit' causing much torment to his true love. It's a beautiful book, and finishes with a short response from his lover to these revelations...Balzac at his best ( )
  starbox | Jul 10, 2016 |
Balzac tem a habilidade de escrever uma história simples e subvertê-la completamente pelo seu final. Isso começa quando Félix de Vandenesse entra na casa de Lady Dudley, a esposa de duas gerações, logo após a morte da condessa de Mortsauf, e a encontra em família, enquanto de Marsay olha as botas com singular atenção.
A mordacidade da carta de Natália de Manerville, ao final, completa o livro perfeitamente. ( )
  JuliaBoechat | Mar 30, 2013 |
Traumatized boy (probably Balzac himself) falls in love with a married woman who could be as old as his mother. Fate parts them from each other but he tries to make up with her daughter after his lover's death... ( )
  foomy | Jan 19, 2010 |
Beautiful and strange, a sentimental parenthesis in the "Human Comedy", this book was inspired by Balzac's own romantic love triangle which he was working through at the time. The book has a very interesting, very curious structure. An epistolary novel of sorts, it's constructed by the triptych of three letters, one book length one flanked by two short notes. The bulk of the book is contained in the second "letter", a long, passionate retelling of the writer's experience locked in indecision between the love of two starkly different women.

A very humorous ending, by the way! ( )
  jkorta | May 26, 2008 |
Showing 4 of 4
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To Monsieur J.B. Nacquart


Dear Doctor Here is one of the most chiselled stones in the secondary course of a literary edifice slowly and painstakingly constructed. I want to put your name to it, as much in token of my gratitude to the wise physician who once saved me long ago, as in tribute to the friend of every day. DE BALZAC
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Je cède à ton désir. Le privilège de la femme que nous aimons plus qu'elle ne nous aime est de nous faire oublier à tout propos les règles du bon sens
To Madame la Comtesse Natalie de Manerville:
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"A novel about the unrealized relationship of Felix de Vandenesse and Henriette de Mortsauf" --Provided by publisher.

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