Read by Martin Geeson

(4.4 stars; 46 reviews)

In his startling and tragic novella Farewell (‘Adieu’), Balzac adds to the 19th century’s literature of the hysterical woman: sequestered, confined in her madness; mute, or eerily chanting in her moated grange. The first Mrs Rochester lurks in the wings; the Lady of Shalott waits for the shadowy reflection of the world outside to shatter her illusion. Freud’s earliest patients will soon enter the waiting-room in their turn.

Whilst out hunting two friends come across a strange waif-like woman shut up in a decaying chateau which one of them dubs “the Palace of the Sleeping Beauty”. Soon we are dragged back to the terrible masculine reality of the 1812 retreat of Napoleon’s army from Moscow and the grotesque massacre that was to traumatise the heroine, parting her from her lover.

Their reunion is more desperate still, as the earlier event is recreated in a bizarre and vain attempt to root out madness and compel the return of happiness…
(Summary by Martin Geeson) (2 hr 28 min)


Chapter 1 17:05 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 2 20:38 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 3 20:40 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 4 20:29 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 5 19:34 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 6 19:32 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 7 13:36 Read by Martin Geeson
Chapter 8 17:00 Read by Martin Geeson



(5 stars)

A good story. My first of his and not my last. Very descriptive. One really feels what it was like to be there. Also an accurate description of severe dissociation. A lively read!

Read as Martin does ut a poor tale

(3 stars)

this is one of the bad Balzac tales nothing insightful or poignant- more on line of cooper fantasies that Balzac got infatuated wjth

Beautiful reading

(5 stars)

A lovely recording by Martin Geeson of Balzac’s short - quite unusual for the author of “La Comédie Humaine"! – novella. Many thanks!

(4 stars)

An entertaining short story well read by Martin Geeson.

an all nighter....

(5 stars)

great, unpredictable short story.