A MARRIAGE SETTLEMENT (Le Contrat de Mariage), also known as "The Marriage Contract" was first published in 1835.
The Count of Manerville, tired of being a bachelor, decides to leave Paris and to come back to Bordeaux, home of his ancestors. There, it seems that he can't but fall in love with Miss Evangelista, the queen of the local social life. Soon, their future marriage is the talk of the town. Now there's only one point to settle : the marriage contract. The young people prefer this matter to be discussed between their respective notaries.
The Count of Manerville is represented by the old notary Mathias who quickly understands that Mrs. Evangelista, the future mother-in-law, has already wasted her daughter's fortune and that she hopes to put the hand on the generous Count's goods.
Having to deal with his client's innocent love with Miss Evangelista, Mathias negociates a contract that would force the Evangelistas to reduce their way of life. The furious and heinous mother-in-law swears that she will see the ruin of the Count of Manerville before long.
A few years later, the Count of Manerville, ruined indeed, leaves France with the hope to find a new wealthiness in India. He's still convinced that he has a loving wife and an attentive mother-in-law while both of them have been scheming against him.
This report prepared by Daniel Staebler