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Letters of Two Brides

Honoré de Balzac

Book Overview: 

Letters of Two Brides is an epistolary novel. The two brides are Louise de Chaulieu (Madame Gaston) and Renée de Maucombe (Madame l’Estorade). The women became friends during their education at a convent and upon leaving began a life-long correspondence. For a 17 year period, they exchange letters describing their lives.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .These I am tempted to stop, asking them, "You who are happy, tell me what is love."

But the impulse is repressed, and I return to my carriage, swearing to die an old maid. Love is undoubtedly an incarnation, and how many conditions are needful before it can take place! We are not certain of never quarreling with ourselves, how much less so when there are two? This is a problem which God alone can solve.

I begin to think that I shall return to the convent. If I remain in society, I shall do things which will look like follies, for I cannot possibly reconcile myself to what I see. I am perpetually wounded either in my sense of delicacy, my inner principles, or my secret thoughts.

Ah! my mother is the happiest of women, adored as she is by Canalis, her great little man. My love, do you know I am seized sometimes with a horrible craving to know what goes on between my mother and that young man? Griffith tells me she has gone through all these . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Marvellous! I don't usually record the short stories I'm reading from Balzac's Comedie Humaine here on Good Reads, but this one is longer than most and quite intriguing. It's written entirely as letters, mostly between Renee and her friend Louise, and it contrasts Renee's rather prosaic marriage and

As the title suggests, this is an epistolary novel. It consists mostly of the letters between two women - Louise and Renee - who were together in a convent and there became lifelong friends. Also included are some letters to/from two of the men in Louise's life.

The women are such a contrast! One is

A charming novel that (although have many old-fashioned views) didn't age like as much as many other Classic books.

The first part was witty, enjoyable, utterly lovely. The second part (with more tragic events) lost a bit of charm to me. Nonetheless, it was a brilliant study of characters (society) o

Doubt is a duel fought within the soul, which causes horrid self-inflicted wounds.

This epistolary novel is often dismissed as light melodrama but I was engaged by it as a dialogue on the ambitions of marriage and maternity. The titular brides struggle in terms of maintenance and identity. This is de

“..biz kadınların yazgısı hep erkekler eliyle, erkekler için çizilmiyor mu?”
Balzac, Louise ile Renee’nin hikayelerini anlatıyor.Manastırda birlikte geçen 9 yıl sonrası evlerine dönen iki kız,bu dostluklarını birbirlerine yazdıkları mektuplar aracılığıyla sürdürüyor. İkisinin düşünceleri ve hayaller

Meringues of words, hyperglycemic curlicues, empty arabesques, syrupy fiorituras. (I thought they stopped writing like this in the 18th century.) If this be the food of love, let me starve.

"Letters of Two Brides" is marked as # 11 of The Human Comedy series but my Delphi collection has it before #3, after reading the excerpt before the story from my Delphi Collection of Balzac, I see why they arranged it this way, it was written near 1834-1835, as seen below.

"Published under the title

The Memoirs of Two Young Wives by Honoré de Balzac, (Jordan Stump translator) is a 2018 NYRB Classics publication. This book was originally published under the title Mémoires de deux jeunes mariées in 1841.

When NYRB Classics sent out an email announcing the release of this classic epistolary novel,

amazing tale of female friendship in post Napoleonic french and how destiny takes them through different paths in life
longer review to come

Two young girlfriends (whose relationship has an almost erotic passion, especially in the early years of their correspondence), Renée de Maucombe and Louise de Chaulieu spend their adolescence at the Blois Carmelite Monastery. It was customary for young girls to receive their education in such monas

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