The Mummy's Foot is a gothic tale, published in French as "Le Pied de Momie." It relates the adventures of a man who buys the 3,000 year old foot of Princess Hermonthis in a Parisian curio shop. Gautier has a fascination with Ancient Egypt as well as an obsession with mortality, decay, and the passage of time. When Princess Hermonthis takes him to her time and place of burial, he asks for her hand from her father, who flatly refuses because of his concern for durability, and the transience of the young man's existence compared to that of a three-thousand year old girl.
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Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier was a French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, and literary critic. He was a contributor to various journals, most notably to La Presse. He was director of Revue de Paris from 1851-1856. During this time, Gautier left La Presse and became a journalist for Le Moniteur Universel. Gautier acquired the editorship of influential review L'Artiste in 1856. In 1862 he was elected chairman of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. During the Franco-Prussian war, Gautier made his way back to Paris. He remained with his family throughout the invasion and the aftermath of the Commune, eventually dying in 1872 of a cardiac disease.
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