Pierre Jules Theophile Gautier was a poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, and literary critic. He was a contributor to various journals, most notably to La Presse. The Mummy's Foot -- the title story in this collection -- 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."