French author Prosper Mérimée, who was married to the awesome writer and early feminist George Sand, wrote the novela Carmen in the 1920s. Mérimée tells the story of José Lizarrabengoa, a cigar factory guard who falls in love with Carmen, a spicy Romani woman that belongs to an outlaw band. José begged her to go to America with him to which she replied, "Carmen will always be free."
The best part of his book, however, are Baron Hans Henning Voigt's illustrations in the German version of "Carmen" that I found while scouring archives.org for fun (I have no shame.)
His illustrations contain intricate black and red lines, creating a variety of textures, within simple silhouettes. I'm not exactly sure how these illustrations relate to the story, but who cares when the illustrations are so effin' cool.
Usually going under the name Alastair, Hans Henning's quirky illustrations are influenced by Art Deco and Oscar Wilde's novel's illustrations. Although his work seems quite contemporary, most of his work was created in the early 20th century.
You can get your hands on a book of his illustrations right here.
xoxo, lil V