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NOTES Introduction 1. The poem was part of the collection Alcools. 2. For the complete narrative, see Steegmuller 345–53. 3. Annie married at twenty-seven and remained married until her husband ’s death twenty-five years later. She then had a “position” with a Mr. and Mrs. Jackson of Santa Barbara for another twenty-five years (Steegmuller 348). She thus worked at least until the age of seventy-seven. At the time of Steegmuller’s interview, she claimed to be eighty-three. 4. For more on the role of the blush as rhetorical disclosure, see O’Farrell. 5. For an overview of the new challenges of biography, especially feminist biography, see Wagner-Martin and Heilbrun. On dealing with estates, see Hamilton, In Search of J. D. Salinger and Keepers of the Flame; Rose; and Malcolm. On the use of sensitive information in biography, see Bair; Cook; DeSalvo; Fitch; Middlebrook, Suits Me; and O’Brien. On unconventional sources of information, see Middlebrook, Anne Sexton; and Toth. 1860, February 11 1. There are technically two biographies by Claude Dauphiné—Rachilde : Femme de lettres 1900 (1985) andRachilde (1991)—I am counting them as one since the second is a substantially revised version of the first (although only the 1985 edition contains illustrations). 2. At one point, Rachilde even claimed to have been born in Thiviers, not Château-l’Evêque or even Périgueux. The claim is made in a letter to a fellow countryman, the policeman Puybaraud in 1884 (Auriant , Souvenirs 61), as discussed below in “1884: Writing as CrossDressing .” 3. In this and subsequent discussions of Rachilde’s family, I rely heavily on Pierre Pommarède’s authoritative “Le Sol et le sang de Rachilde.” 4. According to Pommarède, “La vérité est plus modeste. Les Feytaud sont des marchands de Biras” (“Le Sol et le sang” 808). 5. As Pommarède confirms. For this and a more accurate account of the life and religious and civil career of Urbain-François Feytaud (1759–1845), see Pommarède, “Le Sol et le sang” 808–10. 6. Although Rachilde’s only known child, Gabrielle Vallette Fort, experienced at least one pregnancy, probably around 1920, either she miscarried , or the child was stillborn, for no birth was recorded (pm 185). 7. The publisher no doubt wanted to capitalize on the author’s scandalous reputation to increase sales, and the suggestive Minette perhaps accomplishes this better than the merely supernatural The Werewolf would have. To a reading public alive to slang and double meanings, Minette evokes the whiff of perversity evident in such titles as Monsieur Vénus and Madame Adonis: minette (the common French diminutive name for a cat) could be used both as a reference to the female genitals and as a euphemism for cunnilingus (see Lagail ; and Sautman 179). In Vallette’s letter to Rachilde in which he discusses this novel, he brings this suggestive meaning to her attention , urging her not to accept the offer of a disreputable publisher: “Si vous donnez un livre sous un . . . diminutif pareil c’est que l’homme qui vous l’achète sait bien ce qu’il fait” (rhs 25). 1870, October 29 1. Urbain-François married Charlotte, a seventeen-year-old surgeon’s daughter, in a civil ceremony on December 29, 1793. A few years later, he was studying law in Bordeaux, and, by 1806, a year before Urbain Raymond’s birth, he was a practicing lawyer (Pommarède, “Le Sol et le sang” 809). The date of Urbain Raymond Feytaud’s birth is given as July 3, 1807, in the Acte de naissance, Commune de Périgueux, Archives départementales de la Dordogne, ec o td44. Later that same month, on July 31, 1807, Urbain-François’s marriage to Charlotte was celebrated in a religious ceremony in the Cathedral of Saint-Front in Périgueux. Charlotte died in 1816. 2. Urbain Raymond’s two older brothers also left the provinces to became professionals in large cities. When their father, UrbainFran çois, divided his estate between his three sons in 1827, Victor Feytaud was a doctor in Bordeaux, Joseph Feytaud a lawyer in Paris (Pommarède, “Le Sol et le sang” 809–10). 3. The spelling of the name varies, as is often the case in historical records . Dauphiné (Rachilde [1991]) uses the spelling Isoline, Rachilde (in Pourquoi) Isaline. The birth certificate and the marriage contract of her daughter Gabrielle (Rachilde’s mother) gives her full...


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