Autour de Jacques

Thanks to Front Free Endpaper (now celebrating seven years of blogging, which is 415 lifetimes in real terms, or something) for highlighting this catalogue, written in French and English and detailing rare publications relating to Jacques d’Adelswärd-Fersen. He was, you may recall, the French Decadent aristo-poet who moved to Capri after his “at homes” were revealed to be less of the macarons-and-small-talk variety and more devil-worship-and-homoerotica. Some years after the baron died in obscurity in 1923 his reputation was revived by his countryman Roger Peyrefitte.

The catalogue offers much to gladden the heart of anyone interested in queer/Decadent undercurrents of the Belle Époque. Naturally almost all of Fersen’s own work is represented, largely in the form of very rare first (and usually only) editions, as well as issues of his literary journal Akademos (partly bankrolled by Mathilde de Morny). There are also original works by contemporary writers, some commenting on the Fersen scandal, others riffing generally on gay themes. They include (deep breath, pause for emphasis) Alfred Jarry, Jean Lorrain, Rachilde, Liane de Pougy, Renée Vivien, Natalie Barney, Marcel Proust and Robert de Montesquiou (with a letter in the count’s own hand), and outre-Manche representation from the likes of Marc-André Raffalovich and Oscar Wilde.

Basically it’s Strange Flowers’ letter to Santa, bound and illustrated.



  1. A new photo of Lucie Delarue-Mardrus, oh happy day!

    Maybe I’m overreacting… But! This is incredible. I ran across an online copy of Willy’s “3e Sexe” just yesterday. And Marcel Boulestin, how had I forgotten about him? What a life! His image abounds
    here (he’s identified as ‘Blackspot’).

    I can’t find any biography of Camille Spiess, but what a cute face for an “eccentric philosopher”:

    The photo identified as Renée Vivien is actually one of Natalie Barney, but that’s kind of appropriate, don’t you think? What’s not appropriate is the amount of time this catalog just sucked out of my morning.

  2. Wonderful. I was directed to your blog as a result of my “google” alerts, which sends me updates about anything related to Renée Vivien (I’m involved in a huge scholarly project devoted to her work). I’m so delighted to discover your blog!

  3. Pingback: A Lorrain special, part 2 « Strange Flowers

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