Flower, Fruit, and Thorn Pieces . . .

FLOWER, FRUIT AND THORN PIECES, by J.P.F. RICHTER. Translated from the German by E.H. Noel, Boston, James Munroe & Company, 1845.

  This is a well-executed translation of one of the best-known works of ‘Jean Paul, the Only One,’ as his countrymen style him. It describes with infinite wit and pathos the first trials of marriage between an ill-assorted pair, the husband a literary man, a half-stoical philosopher and humorist, the wife a sweet, pure, but uneducated and narrow-minded little milliner. The two are shut up together in one small apartment to encounter the anguish of a growing poverty, and the friction of habits and dispositions entirely uncongenial. The hopes, the surprises, the disappointments, and the relentings are described with great and penetrating sweetness. Some parts of the book will be skipped by those who weary as we do of the Only One’s often tasteless aberrations and spider-fine fancies. But it reads better in English and seems better adapted to Anglo-American eyes than we could have imagined. The description of friendship between the two men is very fine. A beautiful passage is that which describes their first meeting at the Church and the traits of character they had in common. Richter was a devout friend, and knows how to portray deep intimacy between equal natures; such as is seldom known in fact—seldomer in fiction.

  The book is for sale at Francis’s.*

“Flower, Fruit, and Thorn Pieces . . .” New-York Daily Tribune, 12 March 1845, p. 1.