The Barber of Paris, Vol. 1 (Classic Reprint) Cover Image

About the Author: Charles Paul de Kock

Paul de Kock began life as a banker's clerk. For the most part he resided on the Boulevard St. Martin, and was one of the most inveterate of Parisians.

He began to write for the stage very early, and composed many operatic libretti. His first novel, L'Enfant de ma femme (1811), was published at his own expense. In 1820 he began his long and successful series of novels dealing with Parisian life with Georgette, ou la Nièce du tabellion. His period of greatest and most successful activity was the Restoration and the early days of Louis Philippe.

He was relatively less popular in France itself than abroad, where he was considered as the special painter of life in Paris. Major Pendennis' remark (in the novel "Pendennis" by the English author William Makepeace Thackeray) that he had read nothing of the novel kind for thirty years except Paul de Kock, who certainly made him laugh, is likely to remain one of the most durable of his testimonials, and may be classed with the legendary question of a foreign sovereign to a Frenchman who was paying his respects, Vous venez de Paris et vous devez savoir des nouvelles. Comment se porte Paul de Kock? The 1920 Encyclopedia Americana attributes his greater popularity abroad to his style, which it describes as his worst feature . . . barely presentable, a fault evidently due to deficiency of education. . . . the defects of style disappear in translation.

The disappearance of the grisette and of the cheap dissipation described by Henri Murger practically made Paul de Kock obsolete. But to the student of manners his portraiture of low and middle class life in the first half of the 19th century at Paris still has its value.


The Barber of Paris, Vol. 1 (Classic Reprint) Cover Image

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Paperback, Published in Jul 2016 by Forgotten Books

ISBN10: 133274074X | ISBN13: 9781332740741

Page count: 556

Excerpt from The Works of Charles Paul De Kock: The Barber of Paris
And Blanche, said the barber, who appeared to listen impatiently to old Marguerite's story, I hope that she was not downstairs when these merry-andrews attracted such a crowd about my house.
No, monsieur, no you know very well that Mademoiselle Blanche seldom comes down to the shop, and never when there is anybody there.
Today, as you were away, she did not leave her room, as you had advised her.
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