Born: January 6, 1798, Lorient, France
Died: May 20, 1849, Paris, France
Buried: Cimetière de Montparnasse, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France, Plot: Division 6.
Marie Dorval was a French actress. In Jan. 1833, George Sand met Dorval after the former wrote the actress a letter of appreciation following one of her performances. The two women became involved in an intimate friendship, and were rumored to have become lesbian lovers. Theater critic Gustave Planche reportedly warned Sand to stay away from Dorval. Likewise, Count Alfred de Vigny, Dorval's lover, warned the actress to stay away from Sand, whom he referred to as "that damned lesbian". Popular writers from that time, such as Théophile Gautier and Honoré de Balzac, capitalized on the rumors. Whatever the truth in their relationship, Sand and Dorval would remain close friends for the remainder of Dorval's lifetime. In 1840, Dorval played the lead in a play written by Sand, entitled Cosima, and the two women collaborated on the script. However, the play was not well received, and was cancelled after only seven showings. Dorval’s career began going downhill with a shift in fashion and the public's desire for younger actresses, and she began traveling with a troupe of actors doing small shows around the countryside. By the age of 51, her health was failing due to her long life of travel and shows, and she sank into depression following the death of one of her grandchildren. She died in 1849. Sand assumed the financial support for Dorval's surviving grandchildren following Marie's death.
They met in 1833 and remained friends until Dorval’s death in 1849: 16 years.
Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin aka George Sand (July 1, 1804 – June 8, 1876)
Marie Dorval (January 6, 1798 – May 20, 1849)
Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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Tree-lined graveyard with the resting places of writers & artists including Sartre & Beckett.
Address: 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet, 75014 Paris, France (48.83791, 2.32762)
Type: Cemetery (open to public)
Hours: Monday through Friday 8.00-18.00, Saturday 8.30-18.00, Sunday 9.00-18.00
Phone: +33 1 44 10 86 50
Montparnasse Cemetery is a cemetery in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris, part of the city’s 14th arrondissement. Created from three farms in 1824, the cemetery at Montparnasse was originally known as Le Cimetière du Sud (Southern Cemetery.)
Notable queer burials at Montparnasse:
• Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly (1808-1889) was a French novelist and short story writer. He had a decisive influence on writers such as Auguste Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, Henry James and Marcel Proust. When accused of sodomitical practices, D’Aurevilly reply was: “My tastes incline me to it, my principles permit it, but the ugliness of my contemporaries repels me.” He was transferred in 1926 to St Sauveur, le vicomte's cemetery, in Normandy.
• Marie Dorval (1798–1849), actress. In January 1833, female writer George Sand met Marie Dorval after the former wrote the actress a letter of appreciation following one of her performances. The two women became involved in an intimate friendship, and were rumored to have become lesbian lovers.
• Henry “Willy” Gauthier-Villars (1859–1931), writer and first husband of Colette. Willy and Colette had an affair unbeknownst to each other with the same woman, the American socialite Georgie Raoul-Duval, née Urquhart. Upon discovery, they made it a threesome and attended the Bayreuth festival together.
• Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848–1907), author. Huysmans’ novel “À rebours” (Against the Grain or Against Nature or Wrong Way) (1884) became his most famous, or notorious. It featured the character of an aesthete, des Esseintes, and decisively broke from Naturalism. It was seen as an example of "decadent" literature. The description of des Esseintes’ "alluring liaison" with a "cherry-lipped youth" was believed to have influenced other writers of the decadent movement, including Oscar Wilde. It is now considered an important step in the formation of "gay literature.” “À rebours” gained notoriety as an exhibit in the trials of Oscar Wilde in 1895. The prosecutor referred to it as a "sodomitical" book.
• Josie Mansfield (1847-1931), an American woman who became famous when one of her two wealthy lovers murdered the other. In 1873, Mansfield left New York for Paris with Ella Wesner, a male impersonator in Vaudeville. Mansfield and Wesner went to Paris and presided over a salon at the Café Américan. Wesner returned to the United States alone in the spring of 1873.
• Charles, Vicomte de Noailles (1891-1981) and his wife Marie-Laure (1902-1970), heiress of the Bischoffsheim banking fortune, are buried in the Bischoffsheim vault.
• Man Ray (1890–1976), American-born Dada & Surrealist artist and photographer
• Susan Sontag (January 16, 1933– December 28, 2004), American author & philosopher. Sontag lived with “H,” the writer and model Harriet Sohmers Zwerling whom she first met at U. C. Berkeley from 1958 to 1959. Afterwards, Sontag was the partner of María Irene Fornés, a Cuban-American avant garde playwright and director. Upon splitting with Fornes, she was involved with an Italian aristocrat, Carlotta Del Pezzo, and the German academic Eva Kollisch. Sontag was romantically involved with the American artists Jasper Johns and Paul Thek. During the early 1970s, Sontag lived with Nicole Stéphane, a Rothschild banking heiress turned movie actress, and, later, the choreographer Lucinda Childs. She also had a relationship with the writer Joseph Brodsky. With Annie Leibovitz, Sontag maintained a relationship stretching from the later 1980s until her final years.
Queer Places, Vol. 3 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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