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Édouard Dujardin:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Dujardin, Édouard, 1861-1949
Title: Édouard Dujardin Papers
Dates: 1861-1951
Extent: 105 boxes, 1 oversized box (44.52 linear feet)
Abstract: Édouard Dujardin is perhaps most famous for his first novel Les Lauriers sont coupés which James Joyce credited as his inspiration to use the interior monologue in Ulysses. Dujardin's papers document his career as novelist, poet, playwright, publiciste, journalist, and history of religion professor.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-01237
Language: Material written in English, French, and German
Note: The Ransom Center gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which provided funds for the processing and cataloging of this collection.
Access: Open for research. Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials.
Use Policies: Ransom Center collections may contain material with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin assume no responsibility.
Restrictions on Use: Authorization for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Ransom Center's Open Access and Use Policies.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation: Édouard Dujardin Papers (Manuscript Collection MS-01237). Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Acquisition Purchase, 1977 (R7430)
Processed by Monique Daviau, Catherine Stollar and Richard Workman, 2004

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Édouard Emile Louis Dujardin was born near Blois, France, on November 10, 1861, the only child of Alphonse (a sea captain) and Théophile Dujardin. The family moved to Rouen, where Édouard attended school. He subsequently studied in Paris in preparation for entering the École Normale Supérieure, but, in spite of having been an excellent student, he did not pass the entrance examinations. Instead, he followed his musical interests and enrolled briefly in the Paris Conservatoire. Among the lifelong friendships formed during his school years were those with the writer Aristide Marie and the composers Claude Debussy and Paul Dukas.
In 1882, supported by a modest stipend from his parents, Dujardin began his literary career by writing articles on music. That spring he was sent to London to report on the first production in a non-German-speaking country of Wagner's complete Ring des Nibelungen, and, despite his ignorance of German, he fell completely under Wagner's spell. Later that same year he made the first of many pilgrimages to Germany to hear Wagner's operas. In 1884 in Munich he met the Englishman Houston Stewart Chamberlain, whom Dujardin credited with enhancing his appreciation of Wagner and in discussions with whom he concocted the idea of a French review devoted to Wagner's music and ideas. Thus was born the Revue wagnérienne, which appeared from February 1885 until July 1888.
During this period, Dujardin also became a member of the circle that met Mondays at the home of the Symbolist poet, Stéphane Mallarmé, who also had a profound influence on Dujardin's life. Dujardin and Mallarmé remained close friends until Mallarmé's death in 1898; Dujardin even proposed unsuccessfully to Mallarmé's daughter Geneviève in 1889.
In 1886 Dujardin assumed editorship of the Revue indépendente, a journal devoted to literature, turning it into an important voice for the symbolists. His earliest books were first published in the pages of this journal: the short stories Les Hantises in 1886; the prose poem A la gloire d'Antonia in 1887; his novel Les Lauriers sont coupés in 1887 (published in book form in 1888), which James Joyce credited as having given him the idea for the interior monologue style of writing; Litanies, a collection of musical settings of his own poems in 1888; and the prose poem Pour la vierge du roc ardent in 1888.
Dujardin's parents lived briefly in Paris during this period, having bought a house there, but eventually returned to Rouen. Upon their deaths, Dujardin inherited the Paris house and a large sum of money. Part of his fortune apparently went to the building of Val-Changis, a château in Fontainebleau, and part went into lavish productions of a trilogy of plays: Antonia (produced 1891), Le Chevalier du passé (1892), and La Fin d'Antonia (1893).
Dujardin's expensive and somewhat dandyish tastes in clothing and jewelry and his willingness to run up debts deceived many of his friends into thinking he was wealthy. He was a frequent part of Parisian night life as well, with his friends Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Charles Conder, William Rothenstein, Victor Joze, and Louis Anquetin. Dujardin also had large numbers of female friends, many of them involved in the theater in some way, and many of them in frequent need of financial assistance. During the years 1883-1885 he had an intense love affair with the actress Andrée de Mora (the model for Léa d'Arsay in Les Lauriers sont coupés) and proposed marriage to Tony Riedel, the daughter of German musician Carl Riedel, and between 1890 and 1893 he was involved with the dancers Jeanne Fontaine, Jane Avril, Mary Hamilton, and Marguerite Guez, and the actress Jane Thomsen.
All this activity took a financial toll, and by 1893 Dujardin found himself near ruin. He entered a period of vigorous business activity that lasted until 1908 and apparently involved a variety of endeavors including real estate, gambling, importing and exporting goods, offering marketing and advertising services for periodicals, retailing of beauty products, and perhaps other money-making ventures. He also worked as a journalist for a number of publications during this period, including Journée and Fin de siècle, whose personal advertisements caught the eye of police, resulting in Dujardin's sentencing in 1894 to jail time and a fine for offenses against public morals, which were later remitted.
Dujardin still managed to find time for an active personal life. In February 1896 a young would-be actress and artist's model named Madeleine Boisguillaume gave birth to his son, Emile, and in November of the same year, he married Germaine Teisset in a civil ceremony. Germaine was a poorly educated but apparently beautiful girl who had also caught the eye of the painter Charles Conder, and whose inability to choose between the two men almost led them to fight a duel in 1893. The marriage ended in a separation in 1901. The couple did not actually divorce until 1924, when Dujardin was preparing to remarry.
In the early years of the new century Dujardin began to turn his attention to scholarly pursuits. He enrolled in the École Practique des Hautes Études as a student of the history of religion, received his diploma in 1906, and the same year published the first of a series of works in the field, La Source du fleuve chrétien. In 1913 he was given a lectureship at the École, where he gave classes in religious studies until 1922. He continued his research for the rest of his life, publishing his magnum opus, Histoire ancienne du dieu Jésus in four parts: Le Dieu Jésus: Essai sur les origines et la formation de la légende évangelique (1927), Grandeur et décadence de la critique, sa rénovation: Le Cas de l'abbé Turmel (1931), Le Première génération chrétienne: Son destin révolutionnaire (1935), and L'Apôtre en face des apôtres (1945).
During this period Dujardin kept up his output of creative works as well. In 1898 he published his second and last novel, L'Initiation au péché et à l'amour. He collected his early poetry in the volume Poésies (1913) and published verse inspired by World War I in Mari magno (1921). He produced five more plays: Marthe et Marie (1913), Les Epoux d'Heur-le-Port (1919), Le Mystère du Dieu mort et réssuscité (1923), Le Retour des enfants prodigues (1924), and Le Retour éternel (1932). He also continued to produce works of literary and social criticism and reminiscence, such as Les Premiers Poètes du vers libre (1922), Demain ici ainsi la révolution (1928), Le Monologue intérieur (1931), Mallarmé par un des siens (1936), Rencontres avec Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1943), and De l'ancêtre mythique au chef moderne (1943).
Dujardin also continued his involvement with journalism. In 1904 he cofounded the Revue des idées with Rémy de Gourmont and managed the journal for four years before turning it over to Gourmont. From 1906 to 1908 he worked as publiciste for Ernest Judet's Eclair, a journal with such a strong pro-German bias that it brought both Judet and Dujardin into court on charges of treason, of which both were eventually acquitted. From 1917 to 1922 he edited Cahiers idéalistes, a journal he founded to promote opposition to the war. In the 1930s Dujardin began to write travel pieces for commercial magazines, and just before World War II he gave a series of radio broadcasts on literary topics.
Dujardin's personal life remained eventful as well. On separating from Germaine in 1901 he briefly resumed an alliance with Madeleine, the mother of his son, had an affair with Jane Hugard, and then took up with the actress Yvonne André for several years. After the end of their affair, he resumed his relationship with Jane Hugard, a successful dancer with the Paris Opéra and a teacher of dance whose tendency toward depression was aggravated by the death of her son Jean in 1914. Their affair lasted for several years before gradually evolving into one of the closest friendships of Dujardin's later life. Following their breakup, Dujardin had a brief affair with his Swiss secretary, Lony Bauen, which resulted in a second child, his daughter Rosegrande, born in 1920. As he had done for his son, Dujardin furnished financial support for both mother and child and maintained close ties. Rosegrande lived in Switzerland with her mother until 1935, when Dujardin brought her to Paris for school.
In 1924 Dujardin married Marie Chenou, a woman thirty years his junior who wrote novels and poetry under her married name. Dujardin finally found what he said was his dearest hope: a peaceful and productive old age. They remained married until his death at the age of eighty-seven on October 31, 1949.


Dawson, Terence. "Édouard Dujardin. "Dictionary of Literary Biography, (accessed November 23, 2004).
McKilligan, Kathleen M. Édouard Dujardin: "Les Lauriers sont coupés" and the Interior Monologue. Hull, England: University of Hull, 1977.
Rothenstein, William. Men and Memories. London: Faber & Faber, 1932.

Scope and Contents

Handwritten and typed manuscripts; correspondence; financial, legal, and business records; carbon and letterpress copies, and printed material comprise the Édouard Dujardin Papers. The materials are arranged in five series: I. Literary Career, 1872-1950 (12 boxes), II. Correspondence, 1871-1949 (83 boxes), III. Personal Papers, 1872-1950 (5.5 boxes), IV. Family Papers 1861-1950 (1.5 boxes), and V. Third-Party Works and Correspondence, 1879-1951 (3 boxes). The vast majority of the collection is in French, although some documents in German, English, Latin, Italian, and Greek are present as well. All materials were acquired by purchase in 1977.
Series I. Literary Career contains typed and handwritten creative works that span from Dujardin's childhood to his old age. While his earlier works were focused on poetics and literary fiction, his later works mostly relate to his interest in early Christianity. Also contained in this series are items relating to his teaching, including lecture notes and radio scripts.
Series II. Correspondence constitutes nearly three-quarters of the Édouard Dujardin Papers and contains letters between Dujardin and his family, his literary friends, and his business associates. Major and/or notable correspondents include Guillaume Apollinaire, Lony Bauen, Alphonsine Beau, Madeleine Boisguillaume, André Breton, Basil Hall Chamberlain, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Colette, Alphonse and Théophile Dujardin, Émile Dujardin, Germaine Dujardin, Paul Dukas, Paul Éluard, Paul Fort, Jane Hugard, J.-K. Huysman, James Joyce, Victor Joze, Pierre Louÿs, Stéphane Mallarmé, Aristide Marie, Albert Messein, George Moore, Gaston Picard, Han Ryner, Paul Valéry, Richard Wagner, and Willy. This series is arranged alphabetically by the correspondent's name, with both outgoing and incoming correspondence interfiled. Four boxes of letters from unidentified correspondents are arranged chronologically. An index of all identified correspondents is present in this finding aid. Additional correspondence is found in Series III. Personal Papers, IV. Family Papers, and V. Third-Party Works and Correspondence.
Series III. Personal Papers is composed of bills and receipts, travel documents, school records, and items relating to Dujardin's business interests. Series IV. Family Papers contains birth certificates, correspondence, works, school records, and legal papers concerning members of Dujardin's family. Letters between Dujardin and his family are located in Series II. Correspondence.
Manuscripts submitted for publication to one of Dujardin's literary journals are found in Series V. Third-Party Works and Correspondence, including the dossier of materials from Cahiers idéalistes. Correspondence between his friends, acquaintances, and persons interested in Dujardin's work are also found in this series.

Series Descriptions

Related Material

Additional papers of Édouard Dujardin at the Ransom Center are located in the Artine Artinian, F. S. Flint, Joseph Maunsell Hone, James Joyce, Carlton Lake, George Moore, and Harry Quilter manuscript collections. The Vertical File contains invitations, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks separated from the Dujardin manuscripts. Photographs of Dujardin, his family and friends, and his château, Val-Changis are located in the Photography Collection, and architectural plans of Val-Changis can be found in the Carlton Lake Art Collection. The Library holds a number of Dujardin's published works, many of which belong to the Carlton Lake Collection.

Index Terms


Anquetin, Louis, 1861-1932.
Apollinaire, Guillaume, 1880-1918.
Bauen, Lony.
Beau, Alphonsine Eclard.
Boisguillaume, Madeleine.
Breton, André, 1896-1966.
Chamberlain, Basil Hall, 1850-1935.
Chamberlain, Houston Stewart, 1855-1927.
Colette, 1873-1954.
Dujardin, Alphonse.
Dujardin, Emile.
Dujardin, Germaine.
Dujardin, Marie.
Dujardin, Théophile.
Dukas, Paul, 1865-1935.
Eluard, Paul, 1895-1952.
Fort, Paul, 1872-1960.
Hugard, Jane.
Huysmans, J.-K. (Joris-Karl), 1848-1907.
Joyce, James, 1882-1941.
Joze, Victor, 1861- .
Louÿs, Pierre, 1870-1925.
Mallarmé, Stéphane, 1842-1898.
Marie, Aristide, 1862-1938.
Messein, Albert.
Moore, George, 1852-1933.
Picard, Gaston, b. 1892.
Ryner, Han, 1861-1938.
Valéry, Paul, 1871-1945.
Wagner, Richard, 1813-1883.
Willy, 1859-1931.


French Literature--19th Century.
French Literature--20th Century.
Religious literature--Authorship.
Revue wagnérienne.
Fin de siècle.
Symbolism (Art movement)--France.

Document Types

Birth certificates.
Financial records.
Letterpress copies.
Page proofs.

Édouard Dujardin Papers--Folder List