Mademoiselle de Maupin v. 1 by Théophile Gautier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Illustrator: Francois-Xavier Le Sueur
Translator: I. G. Burham
Release Date: May 8, 2015
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.
Produced by Laura Natal & Marc D’Hooghe at http://www.freeliterature.org (Images generously made
available by the Hathi Trust.)
Free download in French available at Project Gutenberg.
Following Petra’s suggestion, the English version of this book, I have proofread for Free Literature (Project Gutenberg): translation I.G. Burnham.
The original file is available at Internet Archive.
Chapter III — Thereupon the ball-dress had a fine time as you can imagine; *** and I believe that fresher dress was never more pitilessly rumpled and torn; the dress was of silver gauze and the lining of white satin. Rosette displayed on that occasion a heroism altogether unusual to her sex.
This celebrated novel, the celebrity of which has not been lessened by the very numerous editions that have been published, had a very modest beginning which in no way foreshadowed the great success which it was to obtain later.
The title: Mademoiselle de Maupin–Double Love appeared, we believe, for the first time in Renduel’s catalogue in connection with The Life of Hoffman, by Lœve-Weimars, which appeared in October, 1833, announcing the new work of Théophile Gautier as being in press. Renduel had made the acquaintance of the author at Victor Hugo’s; he had published in August, 1833, his first volume of prose, Young France, and now it was a question of launching a work in two volumes, a truly daring undertaking for a publisher of that day; especially in the case of the work of an author but little known and only twenty-two years old.
Mademoiselle de Maupin was not, however, destined to see the light so soon. For two years Théophile
Gautier, more enamored of freedom than of work, or preferring the task of making two harmonious rhymes
to all the beauties of his learned and rhythmic prose, incessantly abandoned and resumed the promised work.
A tradition preserved in the family of the poet tells how his father often shut him up in his room at that
time, forbidding him to leave it until he had completed a certain number of pages of the Grotesques or of Mademoiselle de Maupin. When the maternal kindness did not come to his aid, the frolicsome author, who then lived with his parents on Place Royale, often found the means of getting away by the window and so escaping a paternal task. Such escapades being frequently renewed, it may well be believed that the novel made but little progress; 1834 was drawing to a close; only the first of the two volumes was finished; the publisher complained, and the author tried to pacify him by notes.
Finally, in 1835, the second volume was written in six weeks on Rue du Doyenné, where the poet, having
left the paternal nest, had installed himself; the manuscript was delivered to Renduel and we read the following
note in Le Monde Dramatique, of September 20th, concerning the biography of the strange person who
really bore the name of Maupin, a biography signed by Rochefort and published in that number under the title:
Mademoiselle d’Aubigny-Maupin: “One of our collaborators, Monsieur Théophile Gautier, has been busy
for a long time on a romance entitled: Mademoiselle (de) Maupin.“