A Prince of Bohemia by Honoré de Balzac

Un Prince de la Bohème
A Prince of Bohemia

At the home of the Marquise de Rochefide, Nathan relates the story of La Palferine aka Count Rusticoli. Also present is Madame de la Baudraye who has written a short story based on something he had told her a few weeks prior.

La Palferine is a member of the Rusticolis, a family that came to France with Catherine de Medici and received their title when one of them married the heiress of the Comte de la Palferine. The family’s fame and fortune faded and the current La Palferine’s father became a soldier during the Revolution.

Nathan told the ladies some short anecdotes of the current La Palferine and each of the ladies, at one time or another, begged him to cease as he was giving them headaches. He said it was early afternoon languor and gave them the letters he had promised to bring–letters between La Palferine and Claudine who turned out to be the former opera dancer Tullia, now Madame du Bruel.

After reading the letters, both women were interested and Nathan told them the entire history of the affair.


Read it here

Summary by Dagny, January 2011


One comment on “A Prince of Bohemia by Honoré de Balzac

  1. scamperpb says:

    Saintsbury says this story is an embarrassment, “one would much rather he [Balzac] had not written”. It is interesting that Saintsbury writes one of his most detailed commentaries on this scrap of work, which is an attack on Saint-Beuve, who was a literary critic uncomplimentary to Balzac. I found the story confusing and dissatisfying and a demonstration of the degradation Balzac felt women would endure for love.


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