Droll Tales 8

“Brother-in-Arms” was not provided with an illustration by Mervyn Peake in my Folio Society Edition.

The slightly altered translations in my other two editions are given alongside the names or the respective artists.

This work describes the story of two inseparable knighthood friends who are parted when one goes off to war and the other is left as protector of the former’s wife. In the author’s lively language we are introduced to the enticing temptations resulting from this and to the guardian’s strenuous sacrificial efforts to resist.

These are the illustrations of Gustave Doré (The Brother-in-Arms);

and these of Jean de Bosschère (The Brothers in Arms).

Further details of each of these publications is given in https://derrickjknight.com/2023/01/06/droll-tales-1/


  1. I look at the Gustave Doré illustrations and I’m captured it! I, also, wonder how long one of them took him to create! Like the one on page 191…so many tiny details, so many fine lines, etc! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) ❤️

  2. Don’t know the book. One more hole in my literary abysses…
    Doré was a wonderful artist. I didn’t know he worked for English writers?
    (Or did I miss something?)

    1. I agree about his skill. This Balzac (Contes Drolatiques) is an English edition. I also have a book of Doré’s London. Thanks very much, Brian

      1. So that’s what it is. Les contes drolatiques de Balzac. I’m almost certain I read the a long time ago. Might even have the book. Probably in a box in Paris.
        I didn’t know Doré had “done” London. Must be a precious testimony… Am I right in suspecting you might have an interesting… library?

        1. Half a century’s collection, Brian. I stopped buying about 15 years ago because it was clear I wouldn’t live long enough to read all those I have,

          1. A wise move. I too know I won’t have time to read all. But I still buy books. For the pleasure of it. I’ve just taken another approach. My bookshel space is fixed. No more shelves. So I donate my books when the space is full. Including of course books I know I won’t read. Or re-read, which I now do a lot. I donate to the French Lycée. They’re delighted. Even with books in English or Spanish. The Lycée’s Library has first shot. Then they sell the books second hand. (Which of course I have bought a few…) It must be an illness or a condition I guess… LOL. ?

          2. My grandson Malachi always goes home to Australia with a book or two. Sometimes that backfires on me when he selects one I haven’t read.

          3. Which I’m sure is good for him, but it makes family reunions a tad difficult. A friend of mine here has two sons. One lives in New York. Not too bad, the other in Down Under. Married an Aussie too. They have two little daughters. Whom my friend dod not know. She’s only just gone a few weeks ago. She’ll probably stay a couple of. months more…
            At least you can lure your grandson with your books… ? ?

          4. He is a great lad and doesn’t need luring at all. But we’ll never be able to go over there again, so we rely on their trips here.

          5. Nice that you all keep in touch. PLus nowadays, Zoom and other systems are very good. I had a Zoom comference not long ago with a cousin of mine in Cape Town. (He’s from the English side of the family)
            Cheers Derrick.

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