My name is Ben Leyb and I’m excited to be introducing readers of to my new novel, The Countess de Mondeau. It’s a story about two lovers who need to be together, despite all the odds. It takes place during the Romantic period in Paris in the 1830s, a stormy time in history that feels surprisingly contemporary. The main character is Edouard, who works in an investment firm by day, and by night is an activist in a movement that wants to rock the foundations of French society, from the most intimate relations to the most sweeping political changes. He falls deeply in love with the Countess de Mondeau, host of Paris’s most glittering salon.

I once heard an artist speaking about his paintings, and someone asked him why he painted. “Because there’s something I want to see,” he answered. At first this puzzled me. Why would an artist want to see something? But then I understood that he was creating in real life the vision that was in his head. I try to do the same thing as a writer. The Countess de Mondeau is a book I wanted to read. I wanted to know how it felt to walk down the street in Paris in 1832, and to know what it would be like to love a great and passionate woman of letters, a woman whose conversation could dazzle the best wits and minds of her time.

I also wanted to see the world around these lovers. Edouard makes love to the countess with the help of the Baron de Basse-Riviere, a witty and jaded aristocrat who is a Dumbledore of the arts of the bedroom. Their friends also include a famous actress who has a passion for her own sex. This circle of friends are the door into a time in history when everything can change.

The blog for my book is:

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