The Guardian Angel by Paul de Kock
Those who have heard of Paul de Kock at all will have probably have come across the name in Ulysses; Molly Bloom asks her husband Leopold to get her one of his books, and there are several other references to him in various places in the novel. (Though Sweets of Sin, the book Bloom bought, is apparently not by him.) Even to Joyceans it may come as a surprise to realise that Paul de Kock really existed; at least one (amateur) Joyce fan assured me that he didn't. But he did; he was a well-known and popular French author of the first half of the nineteenth centry. His books were translated into several languages, and popular in Britain for many years. Collected editions in English translation were published in both England and the USA in 1902-1904.
Paul de Kock - a Brief Biography(From the 11th Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica )
The works of Paul de Kock are very numerous. With the exception of a few not very felicitous excursions into historical romance and some miscellaneous works of which his share in La Grande Rue, Paris (1842), is the chief, they are all stories of middle-class Parisian life, of guinguettes and cabarets and equivocal adventures of one sort or another. The most famous are Andre le Savoyard (1825) and Le Barbier de Paris (1826).
His Memoires were published in 1873. See also Th. Trimm, La Vie de Charles Paul de Kock (1873).
The Guardian Angel
The Guardian Angel is a chapter from Zizine, which Paul de Kock wrote in the 1830's. The version given here was published in the August 1837 issue of The Southern Literary Messenger, an American literary magazine published in Richmond, Virginia. The complete file of this Magazine, and much else of interest, is available online at the University of Michigan web site http://www.hti.umich.edu/m/moajrnl/ . Thanks to Perry Willett for confirming the public domain status.
. . . Get another of Paul de Kock's. Nice name he has.
. . . I wonder what kind is that book he brought me Sweets of Sin by a
gentleman of fashion some other Mr de Kock I suppose the people gave
him that nickname going about with his tube
from one woman to another . . .
-- James Joyce, Ulysses
the works of English "light literature" which this diligent student
devoured, he brought down boxes of the light literature of the
neighbouring country of France: into the leaves of which when Helen
dipped, she read such things as caused her to open her eyes with
wonder. But Pen showed her that it was not he who made the books,
though it was absolutely necessary that he should keep up his French by
an acquaintance with the most celebrated writers of the day, and that
it was as clearly his duty to read the eminent Paul de Kock, as to
study Swift or Moliere.
-- William Thackeray, The History of Pendennis
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