"Women are not supposed to write; yet I write." -Marceline Desbordes-Valmore In 1817, at the late age of thirty-three, Marceline Desbordes, the actress and Romantic poet-the only woman counted by Paul Verlaine among his po tes maudits, or "accursed poets," a group that included Victor Hugo, Charles Baudelaire, and Alfred de Vigny-marries Prosper Valmore, a fellow actor who brings love and stability to her tumultuous life. Such stability is short-lived, however: When she meets Henri de Latouche, an influential man of letters, they soon begin a passionate affair. Although their tryst does not last more than a year, their relationship survives through letters and memory. It sparks inspiration in Marceline's work and leads her to create some of the most beautiful poetry in French literature. A talented poet, a romantic woman, a passionate lover, a nurturing mother, and a child at heart, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore is rescued from obscurity through Plantagenet's dazzling writing in this fictionalized biography. The book will include a selection of Desbordes-Valmore's poems in the original French and in an English translation by the Pulitzer Prize--winning poet Louis Simpson.
Anne Plantagenet was born in 1972 in Burgundy and spent her childhood in Champagne. After stays in London and Seville, she now lives in Paris. She has published translations from the Spanish; two biographies, Marilyn Monroe (Gallimard, 2007) and Manolete (Ramsay, 2005); a first novel, Un Coup de corne fut mon premier baiser (Ramsay, 1998); and an acclaimed story collection, Pour les si cles des si cles (Stock, 2008). The Last Rendezvous is the recipient of the 2005 Prix du r cit biographique of the Acad mie internationale des arts et collections. Willard Wood is the winner of the 2002 Lewis Galanti re Award for Literary Translation and a 2000 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Translation. He lives in Connecticut.