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Rachilde (1860–1953)

Author of Monsieur Venus: A Materialist Novel

Includes the names: pseud. Rachilde

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Rachilde was the pen name of Margeurite Eymery was the daughter of a cavalry officer. It is said that she attempted suicide when her family tried to force her into marriage with a much-older man, and thereafter she was able to devote herself to writing. She published her work under the nom de plum Rachilde. She joined the literary world of Paris and sometimes wore male attire. She made her reputation by producing a series of powerful and sensational novels such as Monsieur Venus (1884). According to The Literary Encyclopedia, she was a prudish pornographer, gender-bending anti-feminist, anarchist reactionary, and nemesis to the Surrealists who embodied antithetical extremes. For several decades, she was one of the most influential critics for the Mercure de France, whose editor Alfred Vallette she married. She also wrote the autobiographical pamphlet Pourquois je ne suis pas feministe (Why I Am Not a Feminist) in 1928. Her life of notoriety spanned nearly a century and ended with her death in near-obscurity in 1953.
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