My mother studied French at Bennett High School in Buffalo, N.Y., and saved her textbooks; I, in turn, have saved them as well, as much for her neat notes in pencil between the lines as for anything else. But I have always loved the books for themselves as well. In Tartarin de Tarascon by Alphonse Daudet, there are illustrations by Clarence Rowe (above) and Leon d’Emo (below). I share them.

The Wolf

“The man staggered under the brute’s weight, then recovered himself, and began to slash right and left with his knife. Snapping, snarling, clawing, the beast tore at the man in his agony. Again and again Gaspard thrust but seemed unable to free himself from the brute. At this juncture a little figure crept softly to his side, extended two small hands in which a pistol was gripped hard, pressing the weapon close to the shaggy side of the wolf pulled the trigger. The report followed and with it came the smell of burning powder. The creature’s great muscles relaxed, and it fell to the ground.”

— Illustration by Frank Schoonover from Lafayette (1921) by Lucy Foster Madison

F.R. Spofforth

Frederick Robert “Fred” Spofforth (1853–1926), also known as “The Demon Bowler”, was perhaps the Australian cricket team’s finest fast bowler in the 19th century. Shown here in a watercolor by Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929) in English Cricket (1945) by Neville Cardus.