1939; Droll Stories, Thirty Tales by Honore De Balzac, hardback, The Heritage Press publishers, good-very good condition of book. No dust jacket, illustrations by Boris Artzygasheff.
"This is a book of the highest flavour, full of right hearty merriment, spiced to the palate of the illustrious and very precious tosspots and drinkers, to whom our worthy compatriot, Francois Rabelais, the eternal honour of Touraine, addressed himself. Be it nevertheless understood, the author has no other desire than to be a good Touranian, and joyfully to chronicle the merry doings of the famous people of this sweet and productive land, more fertile in cuckolds, dandies and witty wags than any other, and which has furnished a good share of men of renown in France."
Honoré de Balzac
As you might suspect from the above quote (Prologue, Volume 1), though humorous, many of the stories are a bit risqué. They are set in the sixteenth century and written in old style language. Balzac’s original plan was to write one hundred of these short stories, but only thirty were completed at the time of his death. Generally available in three groups of ten, the final ten were completed and published in 1837.