Le Bal de Sceaux (The Ball at Sceaux) was published in 1830. It constitutes one of the earliest volumes of Comédie Humaine. There are certain inspirational influences, especially two fables by La Fontaine (La fille and Héron), alluded to in the protagonist's name. A similar plot informs Aleksandr Pushkin's verse novel Eugene Onegin, which was published in serial form between 1825 and 1832. The title is part of the subseries Scenes of Private Life (Scènes de la Vie Privée).
In the novel, Emilie de Fontaine, after rejecting handily a number of suitors, falls in love with a mysterious young man who appears at the village dance at Sceaux, whose sole interest appears to be concentrated on his sickly sister. Emilie's fascination of marrying with a high-ranked man will also be the reason why she will reject him and ruin her prospects.