Le Figaro was founded as a satirical weekly in 1826, taking its name and motto from Le Mariage de Figaro, a play by Beaumarchais that poked fun at privilege. Its motto, from Figaro's monologue in the play's final act, is "Sans la liberté de blâmer, il n'est point d'éloge flatteur" ("Without the freedom to criticise, there is no true praise").
Caran d'Ache was the pseudonym of the 19th century French satirist and political cartoonist Emmanuel Poiré (November 6, 1858 – February 26, 1909). "Caran d'Ache" comes from the Russian word karandash (карандаш), meaning pencil, which in turn comes from the Turkish words kara taş, meaning black stone. While his first work glorified the Napoleonic era, he went on to create "stories without words" and as a contributor to newspapers such as the Lundi du Figaro, he is sometimes hailed as one of the precursors of comic strips. The Swiss art products company Caran d'Ache is named after him.
The binding is strong, with a loose spine cover, there is no dust jacket and the cover boards show some signs of wear. The cartoons in this volume are stylish and show no wear.