Philippe-Auguste Villiers de L'Isle-Adam

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Madeleine Chalmers (University of Oxford)

“Boxing instructor, cured madman, pretender to the Greek throne and suitor to a rich heiress”: it was thus that the veteran publisher Gustave de Malherbe described Villiers de l’Isle-Adam on the fortieth anniversary of his death (Goujon, 1987, 162). By his full name Jean-Marie-Mathias-Philippe-Auguste, comte de Villiers de l’Isle-Adam, he was the descendant of a family of Breton aristocrats from Saint-Brieuc who had fallen on hard times, and a man who “preferred the immaculate conception of his dreams to the stomach-turning satiety of tangible life” (Bloy, 1905, 306). Hailed by W. B. Yeats as an archetypal Symbolist, he penned dramas, novels, short stories, poetry, and journalistic pieces. From the …

3075 words

Citation: Chalmers, Madeleine. "Philippe-Auguste Villiers de L'Isle-Adam". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 August 2020 [, accessed 06 February 2023.]

4546 Philippe-Auguste Villiers de L'Isle-Adam 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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