#1 - Translator's Note
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Constance van der Welcke returns to the Hague and the bosom of her family after a twenty year exile caused by a marital indiscretion and divorce from the Dutch ambassador to Rome. Wanting only to be accepted into the family circle again, Constance and her husband Henri find they are the target of gossip that pulls the family apart. As the facade of the family circle begins to crack, the psychological foibles of the brothers and sisters begin to reveal themselves. Small Souls is the first of four novels that make up the quartet known as 'The Books of the Small Souls', the master work of the foremost author of modern Dutch literature, Louis Couperus. Although the 'The Books of the Small Souls' remain popular in the Netherlands, Alexander Teixeira de Mattos' excellent English translation has long been out of print. (Summary by Philip Benson).
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