The Marriage Contract
by Honoré de Balzac
'My first Honore de Balzac read, fascinating tale in flamboyant prose rings true in 2009 as it did three hundred years ago. Tale of a mediocre student whose family money allows him a life of indolence and excess. I loved the way he and his fiance offered studied indifference during the financial negotiations of the marriage. His mother-in-law's avarice and need to control and the groom's idiocy are so perfect and so very sad. I wanted the story to go on, a sequel perhaps. I shall read more of de Balzac and perhaps will find one.'