In this novel we have not only a thrilling romance—the very heart of it is a love story—but have the best book of historical fiction that appeared in 1902. The opening scenes are laid in the frontier village of Marsbronn, in the province of Alsace, at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War. And not since Zola wrote his description of the battle of Sedan has such a picture been written of war.
ysées with a pretty and popular actress of the Odéon.
As I passed, glancing up at her, the sadness of her face impressed me, and I remember wondering how much the death of her husband had to do with it--for his name had appeared in the evening papers under the heading, "Killed in Action."
It was several years later before the police began to take an interest in the Comtesse Éline de Vassart. She had withdrawn entirely from society, had founded a non-sectarian free school in Passy, was interested in certain charities and refuges for young working-girls, when on a visit to England, she met Karl Marx, then a fugitive and under sentence of death.
From that moment social questions occupied her, and her doings interested the police, especially when she returned to Paris and took her place once more in Royalist circles, where every baby was bred from the cradle to renounce the Tuileries, the Emperor, and all his works.
Serious, tender-hearted, charitable, and intensel
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