In this sixth story of the third Decade of Honoré de Balzac’s humorous tales, entitled by The Bibliophilist Society “In which it is demonstrated that Fortune is always Feminine”, the writer seems to have drawn the general from the particular.
False friendship, deception, and trickery are the tools of rivals for Royal pleasure – that of the King and of the Queen. It seems to me that no-one really comes off best anyway, certainly not the fair lady.
The Folio Society did not include any drawings from Mervyn Peake, so, given that I don’t have any from Jean de Bosschère
we have only Gustave Doré’s interpretation, in The Bibliophilist Society’s publication, dated 1874, just 37 years after first publication by Gosselin of Paris, and the first in English. At some point the volume has been skilfully rebound, but the pages are clear and undamaged.