Droll Tales 12

The second Tale of the second Decade of Honoré de Balzac’s Droll Tales bears the title “King Francis’s Short Commons” in the Folio Society edition

illustrated by Mervyn Peake.

This is a very short story concerning the French King’s spell of captivity in Madrid by the Emperor Charles the Fifth, during which his short commons were relieved by a series of ladies encouraging him to select a preference between those of France and of Spain.

The publishers of both Gustave Doré’s

and Jean de Bosschère’s pictorial interpretations each adopted “The Continence of King Francis the First”.

Further details of each of these publications is given in https://derrickjknight.com/2023/01/06/droll-tales-1/except that the second Decade is published by New York’s Covici, Friede in 1929. It is America’s first edition thus and is a limited copy. The illustrations are not protected by tissue but the book’s condition is good and it is covered by a cellophane wrapper. 


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