Beardsley, Robert S. Hichens, Henry Chaplin, M.P., Henry Harland, George Alexander, The Marquis of Queensberry, The Warden of Merton, Joseph Chamberlain, M.P., George Bernard Shaw, Sir George Lewis, George Moore, The Marquis of Granby, Beerbohm Tree, The Duke of Cambridge.
The Novels of Honoré de Balzac.
The First Issue consists of "SCENES OF PARISIAN LIFE." In Eleven Volumes.
The Scenes of Parisian Life comprise "Splendours and Miseries," "Cousin Bette," "Cousin Pons," "History of the Thirteen," "César Birotteau," "The Civil Service," "House of Nucingen," and " The Petty Bourgeois," and are now for the first time completely translated into English by competent hands, and illustrated with a series of eighty-eight etchings after drawings by celebrated Parisian book-illustrators—viz. G. Bussière, G. Cain, Dubouchet, L. E. Fournier, A. Lynch, A. Robaudi, and M. Vidal. The volumes are handsomely printed on deckle-edged paper, demy 8vo, and bound in cloth extra. Price £4, 4s. per set of eleven volumes.
There is a special Edition de Luxe, printed on Imperial Japanese vellum, with the etchings in two states Before and After Remarqués. Price £8, 8s. per set.
This first series will be followed at a brief interval by the remaining works of Balzac, and subscriptions may, if desired, be given for the entire "Comédie Humaine."
"It is impossible to enter on a detailed criticism of Balzac's novels. In them he scales every height and sounds every depth of human character, from the purity of the mysterious Seraphitus-Seraphita, cold and strange, like the peaks of her northern Alps, to the loathsome sins of the Marneffes whose deeds should find no calendar but that of hell. In the great divisions of his Comédie, the scenes of private and of public life, of the provinces and of the city, in the philosophic studies, and in the Contes Drôlatiques, Balzac has built up a work of art which answers to a mediæval cathedral. There are subterranean places, haunted by the Vautrins and 'Filles aux yeux d'or'; there are the seats of the money-changers, where the Nucingens sit at the receipt of custom; there is the broad platform of every-day life, where the journalists intrigue, where love is sold for hire, where splendours and miseries abound, where the peasants cheat their lords, where women betray their husbands; there are the shrines where pious ladies pass saintly days; there are the dizzy heights of thought and rapture, whence falls a ray from the supernatural light of Swedenborg; there are the lustful and hideous grotesques of the Contes Drôlatiques. Through all swells, like the organ-tone, the ground-note and mingled murmur of Parisian life. The qualities of Balzac are his extraordinary range of knowledge, observation, sympathy, his steadfast determination to draw every line and shadow of his subject, his keen analysis of character and conduct. Balzac holds a more distinct and supreme place in French fiction than perhaps any English author does in the same field of art."—Encyclopedia Britannica.