The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

September 27, 2009

Sept. 27, 1844

Although some sources disagree, I have seen September 27, 1844 listed as the date of death for Charles Nodier, French writer and archivist. He was elected a member of the Academie Francaise after a career as first a half hearted revolutionist and then a half hearted monarchist. His biography was written by Prosper Merimee, who is not as forgotten as our subject.

Nodier's writings were brief stories, typically, with some fantasy elements. The following two paragraph excerpt is from a story called "Trilby, or the Fairy of the Argyle" (1822).

"There are privileges attached to houses inhabited by household sprites! They are preserved from the accidents of storm and the ravages of fire... [The sprites protect], also, the peaceful inhabitants of the barn-yard, and the feathered creatures, to which Providence has given only cries wherewith to make their complaints known, and which Providence has left without weapons for their defence.

Oftentimes the blood-thirsty wild-cat, which had crept down from the mountains, leaving on the noiseless moss scarce the impress of his claws, and restraining his tiger-like cries, veiling his ardent eyes, which shine in the night like wandering stars..., has been found lifeless beside the tranquil nest, while the motionless mother-fowl slept with her head concealed under her wing, dreaming over the happy history of her new-hatched young, where not one single egg is missing."

No sprites apparently protect feral cats.

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