The Ball at Sceaux by Honoré de Balzac

Le Bal de Sceaux
The Ball at Sceaux

Balzac begins by describing the career of the Comte de Fontaine, a renowned Vendéean who has sacrificed much of his wealth by resisting the French Revolution and refusing a commission from Napoleon. When Louis XVIII is restored, he at first is repulsed, but after Napoleon breaks loose from Elba, he decides to accompany Louis and wins the gratitude of the monarch. Louis provides for the Comte’s sons and also finds husbands for his two eldest daughters.

Alas, the youngest daughter Emilie is a bit of a problem. She is spoiled, impetuous, and headstrong. Continue reading