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.

October 23, 2016

October 23, 1811

His blurb at Goodreads reminds us that Theophile Gautier (August 30, 1811 to October 23, 1872)

.. was a French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, and literary critic. In the 1830 Revolution, he chose to stay with friends in the Doyenné district of Paris, living a rather pleasant bohemian life. He began writing poetry as early as 1826 but the majority of his life was spent as a contributor to various journals, mainly for La Presse, which also gave him the opportunity for foreign travel and meeting many influential contacts in high society and in the world of the arts, which inspired many of his writings including Voyage en Espagne (1843), Trésors d'Art de la Russie (1858), and Voyage en Russie (1867). He was a celebrated abandonnée of the Romantic Ballet, writing several scenarios, the most famous of which is Giselle. His prestige was confirmed by his role as director of Revue de Paris from 1851-1856. During this time, he became a journalist for Le Moniteur universel, then the editorship of influential review L'Artiste in 1856. His works include: Albertus (1830), La Comédie de la Mort (1838), Une Larme du Diable (1839), Constantinople (1853) and L'Art Moderne (1856)...

Some of the pressures on the artist are listed in his Britannica article:

After that trip
[to Spain, in 1840] he found traveling to be a welcome escape from the constant pressures of his journalistic work, which he pursued to support himself, two mistresses, and his three children, as well as his two sisters.

And Gautier supported a number of cats. So it is nice to read:

In his last years he became the friend of the French princess Mathilde,
[the niece of Napoleon Bonaparte] who gave him a sinecure post as a librarian to ease his financial strain.

The tomb of Theophile Gautier has a cat on it---

This is appropriate for the man who said:

I must own that all my life I have been as fond of animals in general and of cats in particular as any Brahmin or old maid.“  The tombstone is in Montmartre cemetery in Paris.

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