Droll Tales 14

There was no Mervyn Peake illustration to the fourth tale, entitled by The Folio Society “The Building of Azay Castle” from the second Decade of Balzac’s collection.

This was more than compensated for by Gustave Doré in what his publishers called “How the Chateau d’Azay came to be built.

Jean de Bosschère’s publishers showed the same title, which is in fact really more accurate, given that this really has nothing to do with building but all to do with the decision to build it.

With all the author’s fluent prose and a smattering of double entendre, he tells of the resourcefulness; obsession with a beautiful, older, woman; the sexual prowess; a bet ultimately lost, yet made good by a clever cryptic account, of a poverty-stricken young man.

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 covered by a cellophane wrapper.