“The man who was producing the greatest creative work of the century and could have walked in the presence of kings and princes with the unconcern of a Beethoven suffered from an absurd mania for the aristocracy”. - from Balzac by Stefan Zweig
Béatrix is perhaps of special intetest because Balzac drew upon the characters of real people for it. George Sand, a very close friend and correspondent of Balzac, Marie d'Agoult, once a well known but now faded to obscurity writer, and the composer Franz Litz.
It is set among rural aristocrats and centers around a handsome young man and his various romances. The best thing in Béatrix to me was the long characterizations of the George Sand character and the personage model on Marie d'Agoult.
I think this is mostly a novel for Balzac completionists but Stefan Zweig felt if was among the best of the work of Balzac so maybe I need to reread it one day.
As I read on it Balzac I am also reading various online articles and have started Balzac by Stefan Zweig. Zweig does a wonderful job of describing "a day in the life of Honore de Balzac".
I will,give the last word on Béatrix to Stefan Zweig
"The novel Béatrix, of which only the earlier chapters have any literary value, was provided with a sentimental ending lacking in any truth to life”