Is “Balzac’s age” an insult or a compliment?

Everyone has heard and knows such an expression as “Balzac’s age”. But what it means and where it came from is not known to many. In this article, we decided to shed some light on this phrase.

How did the expression “Balzac age” appear?

This expression appeared thanks to the writer Honoré do Balzac after the release of his novel “The Thirty-Year-Old Woman” (1842).

The author’s contemporaries ironically called this a woman who, by her behavior, resembled the heroine of this novel. Over time, the meaning of the term was lost, and it was only about the age of the woman.

Today, when they say about a woman that she is of “Balzac’s age,” they mean only her age – from 30 to 40 years.

The writer himself was very fond of women of this age. They are still quite fresh, but with their own judgments. During this period, women are at the peak of sensuality, warmth and passion.


What woman is mentioned in Balzac’s novel “The Thirty-Year-Old Woman”?

Viscountess Julie d’Aiglemont, marries a handsome but empty soldier. He only needs 4 things: food, sleep, love for the first beauty he comes across and a good fight. The heroine’s dreams of family happiness are smashed to smithereens. From this moment, a struggle begins in the soul of a woman between a sense of duty and personal happiness.

The heroine falls in love with another man, but does not allow intimacy. Only his stupid death makes a woman think about the frailty of life. The death of a loved one opens up for Julie the possibility of betraying her husband, the existence with which she perceives as a duty.

Soon her second great love comes to Julie. In this relationship, a woman experiences all the joys of love between a man and a woman. They have a son who dies through the fault of her eldest daughter Elena, who was born in marriage.

After the passion for a man passes, Julie calms down and gives birth to three more children from her husband. She gives them all her maternal and feminine love.

⠀ “The heart has its own memories. Sometimes a woman does not remember the most important events, but for the rest of her life she remembers what belongs to the world of feelings. ” (Honore de Balzac “Woman of Thirty”)


How to behave if you are called a lady of “Balzac’s age”?

  • Behave with dignity in this situation. Do not be offended, even if you are not yet 30 years old. Perhaps the person who called you that himself does not fully understand the meaning of this statement.
  • You can keep silent and pretend not to hear this. Then the interlocutor himself will understand that he said something wrong. You will again be on top.
  • The best way is to smile and joke. For example: “What a cunning hidalgo you are Don Quixote of La Mancha” – and let this eccentric puzzle over your answer.

In general, always remain confident in your attractiveness and irresistibility. And then you will not be confused by any statements.

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