The Girl with the Golden Eyes

Honoré de Balzac (1799 - 1850)
Translated by Ellen Marriage (1865 - 1946)

Listeners who like to plunge straight into a story would do well to skip the lengthy preamble. Here, Balzac the virtuoso satirist depicts the levels of Parisian society as a version of the Inferno of Dante - but perhaps keeps the reader waiting too long for the first act of his operatic extravaganza.

Our beautiful, androgynous hero, Henri de Marsay, is one of the bastard offspring of a depraved Regency milord and himself practises the cynical arts of the libertine. His quarry is the exotic Paquita Valdes, she of the golden eyes.

But there is a mysterious third person in this liaison...

The shocking truth of their interrelationships marks this out at once as one of those French novels that Lady Bracknell would instantly ban from the house. (Summary by Martin Geeson)

Genre(s): Romance, Published 1800 -1900

Language: English

Group: Balzac's Human Comedy

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Preamble: Paris Martin Geeson
Play 02 'Upon one of those fine spring mornings...' Martin Geeson
Play 03 'The young man who called himself...' Martin Geeson
Play 04 'De Marsay was not impulsive...' Martin Geeson
Play 05 'When, after making an excellent meal...' Martin Geeson
Play 06 'At the hour mentioned Henri was...' Martin Geeson
Play 07 'For the next and succeeding day Henri disappeared...' Martin Geeson
Play 08 'If it be impossible to paint the unheard-of delights...' Martin Geeson
Play 09 'At breakfast, by the time he had started...' Martin Geeson
Play 10 'Paquita seemed to have been created for love...' Martin Geeson
Play 11 'De Marsay was driven to the house...' Martin Geeson