(November 3, 1874 - April 26, 1945) France
The younghest of six girls whose father was a successful and prosperous shipping lawyer, Lucie Delarue spent an idyllic childhood in the family mansion and estate at Honfleur in Normandy. She was nicknamed "Princesse Amande".
In 1900 she married the translator of Arabian Nights, Joseph-Charles Mardrus. He was an eccentric man who dismissed her lesbian inclinations as schoolgirl romances. By the time of her marriage Lucie had already had the experience of passionate attachment to women, in particular to Impéria de Heredia whom she loved for three years.
Her husband introduced Lucie to French literary society and she began to meet other lesbian writers such as Renée Vivien, who admired Lucie's poetry, and Natalie Barney, with whom Lucie fell in love. Unfortunately for her it was an unrequited passion.
Many of Lucie's novels were serialized in journals before being published as books, and she enjoyed great popularity in the first two decades of the 20th century.
In later life Lucie, who divorced her husband some fifteen years after they had got married, became the lover of the Jewish opera singer Germaine de Castro whom Lucie met in 1932, when she was 58 years old. During the 1930s both Lucie and de Castro were the objects of anti-Semitic persecutions by the German occupying forces.
Lucie's failing health eventually led to her death just as the WWII was coming to an end.
Source: excerpts from: Gabriele Griffin, Who's Who in Lesbian and Gay and Writing, Routledge, London, 2002
Her works include:
- Occident (1901)
- Le Roman de six petites filles (1909)
- L'acharnée (1910)
- Le beau baiser (1929)
- L'ange et le pervers (1930)
- Nos secrètes amours (1957)