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Barney, Natalie) Delarue-Mardrus, Lucie.

Hortensia degenere.


The Dedication Copy
[Barney, Natalie Clifford]. Delarue-Mardrus, Lucie. Hortensia dégénéré. Roman. Paris: J. Ferenczi et Fils, (1929).
8vo.; printed wrappers; glassine dust-jacket. In a specially made cloth slipcase.
First edition; one of twenty-five numbered copies on "papier velin bibliophile" (this is #18), of 85 copies of the entire edition. The dedication copy, inscribed on the front endpaper: A vous, Elisabeth de Clermont-Tonnerre/un livre qui vous appartient - un hommage d'admiration pour votre grand talent et d'amitié pour votre grand coeur/Lucie Delarue-Mardrus. ("To you, Elisabeth de Clermont Tonnerre/a book that belongs to you, in tribute to your grand talents and friendship of your big heart/Lucie Delarue-Mardrus"). The printed dedication reads, "A madame la Duchesse de Clermont-Tonnerre."
A page of advertisements opposite the title page lists other books by Delarue-Mardrus, including Toutoune et son amour (1919), Les trois lys (1920), and La Cigale (1920). She's the author of over seventy books, including novels, poems, stories and travel books; other books that were published after Hortensia inclde Amanit (1929), Anatole (1930), Le Beau Baiser (1929) and Mes mémoires (1938).
Delarue-Mardrus (1874-1945) became friends with Elisabeth, or Lili, de Gramont (1875-1954) - who married Philibert de Clermont-Tonnerre in 1896 - before the spring of 1909. Clermont-Tonnerre was descended from one of the most important families in French history, the Dukes of Gramont. Both women had love affairs with Natalie Clifford Barney; in fact, Delarue-Madrus introduced Clermont-Tonnerre to Barney in late April, 1909, and Clermont-Tonnerre and Barney became nearly inseparable. The relationship between these women is infamously memorialized in a "marriage contract" between them, drawn up by Barney and dated June 20, 1918; each year, they celebrated the anniversary of their first meeting every year up until Clermont-Tonnerre's death, in 1954.
All three women remained friends throughout their lives; this book is a wonderful association not only for the evidence it provides of Delarue-Mardrus's relationship with Clermont-Tonnerre, but also to their connection with Barney.

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