The Ball at Sceaux

Read by Bruce Pirie

(5 stars; 6 reviews)

The novella “The Ball at Sceaux” is part of Balzac’s great life work — the expansive fiction series titled “The Human Comedy.”

The central character is Émilie de Fontaine, youngest daughter of a noble but impoverished family in post-revolutionary France. Her hapless father hopes to find her a good marriage, but Émilie, spoiled and willful, has repeatedly turned away suitors. She has a list of requirements for any prospective husband, one of which is that he must, of course, be “the son of a peer of France.” (The peerage was an elite aristocratic distinction.) She holds firm to this resolve, but events have a way of turning out surprisingly.

Balzac was a master of irony and realism and his writings were hugely influential in the development of European fiction.
- Summary by Bruce Pirie (2 hr 43 min)


Section 1 37:14 Read by Bruce Pirie
Section 2 31:26 Read by Bruce Pirie
Section 3 28:59 Read by Bruce Pirie
Section 4 40:18 Read by Bruce Pirie
Section 5 25:42 Read by Bruce Pirie


excellent story and well read

(5 stars)

Congrats to the reader for taking on those difficult French names.