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Love in a Mask

Honoré de Balzac

Book Overview: 

Beginning with a flirtatious conversation at a masked ball, Balzac introduces his two main characters, a beautiful wealthy young widow and a gallant cavalry officer, and demonstrates his creative genius with deft plot twists of hidden identity and romantic intrigue.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . then he has got over his fit of temper?"

"Do not play with me now. I am about to lose you. How shall I be able to—"

"Well, there is just the possibility that I may come to the Mi-Carême ball here."

"Three weeks to wait! Ye gods, three centuries!"

"Yes, three weeks, perhaps, and perhaps never."

"I shall be dead by that time, dead with impatience and worry."

"That will entirely upset my plans."

"Your plans?"

But they had reached the door. A carriage had just drawn up, but in the darkness it was impossible to distinguish either its color or its coat of arms. A black servant was holding the door open.

"May I not at least cherish the hope that you will be sorry for my sufferings?"

"Indeed, I fancy you are going to occupy my mind considerably."

As she finished speaking, she sprang lightly into the carriage, and the horses dashed rapidly off.

Léon stood an. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Suna miezul nopţii şi totul era în mişcare la Paris. Totul se agita. Toţi alergau după plăceri. Era într-o noapte de Carnaval (Lunea grasă).
Leon de Preval tânăr ofiţer de cavalerie intrase la balul de la Operă.
După ce rătăcise mai bine de o oră prin mulţimea ale cărei valuri se strângeau şi se r

It was OK. Lots of idealized courtly love with only a small twist at the end going against the familiar formula.

L'Amour Masque is a little gem which was given to the Duchesse de Dino and not published during Balzac's lifetime.

It opens as a typical light romance with flirtatious banter at a masked ball. Soon, Balzac shows his creative genius with a plot twist which seems rather unusual for a book written more

What makes literature timeless? Its ability to capture human relationships and life patterns. In this story we have a couple caught in dichotomies; enchantment and distance, clarity and ambiguity, generosity and exploitation, naivety and cunning, abandonment and longing. Despite its dramatic twists,

A lovely tale with a feminist twist

3.0 (liked it)

In this 19th-century short novel by the French author, Balzac, a man attends a masked ball and meets a woman behind a mask. After the ball, the two of them engage in a cat-and-mouse game for years, each consumed with a full range of exagerrated emotions about their shared connection, a

What a relief - I've not been able to get into a book for a while now - but finally things clicked with this one. Balzac is like an old friend. Not sure if this is a novella or short story, but either way, it was excellent. Rather like an experiment. I'm curious as to whether Balzac sometimes starte

Description (via Dagny): The manuscript of Love in a Mask, a gift to Princess Dorothea of Courland (Duchess of Dino, Duchess of Talleyrand, Duchess of Sagan), was first published over sixty years after Balzac’s death.

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Opening: MIDNIGHT was striking, and all Paris was astir; the streets were

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