”The Marriage Contract” is included in ”Scenes from Private Life” and follows the marriage of a Parisian gentleman to beautiful Spanish girl, who comes into a lot of money. Presenting an intriguing portrait of the relationships between people, their romantic adventures, and marriage contracts in general, the novel abounds in philosophical, ethical, and financial dialogues. The naiveté of the characters and their illusions of married life clash with a bang against reality, resulting in unnecessary and often humorous suffering.
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) was a French novelist and playwright, most famous for his collection of novels and plays, collectively called ”The Human Comedy”. His detailed observation of humanity and realistic depiction of society makes his one of the earliest representatives of realism in Europe. He was a master-creator of complex characters that often found themselves in ambiguous moral dilemmas.