Collection: Rachilde

Rachilde was the penname of Marguerite Vallette-Eymery (1860–1953). By her mid-twenties she was a prominent figure in Parisian literary circles and was the only female writer for the literary journal Le decadent (1886–1889). Her life and work were unconventional: she was a cross-dresser (in direct violation of French law), constantly questioned gender identity and social norms, and her 1884 novel Monsieur Vénus was judged to be pornographic and was subsequently banned in Belgium, incurring for the author a sentence of two years in prison and a fine of two thousand francs. In 1889 she married Alfred Vallette, with whom she cofounded the Mercure de France, the most important journal and publishing house of the French Symbolists.