Henri de Régnier


Henri de Régnier

Henri-François-Joseph de Régnier was a French symbolist poet, considered one of the most important of France during the early 20th century.

He was born in Honfleur (Calvados) on 28 December 1864, and educated in Paris for law. In 1885 he began to contribute to the Parisian reviews, and his verses were published by most of the French and Belgian periodicals favorable to the symbolist writers. Having begun as a Parnassian, he retained the classical tradition, though he adopted some of the innovations of Jean Moréas and Gustave Kahn. His vaguely suggestive style shows the influence of Stéphane Mallarmé, of whom he was an assiduous disciple.

His first volume of poems, Lendemains, appeared in 1885, and among numerous later volumes are Poèmes anciens et romanesques (1890), Les Jeux rustiques et divins (1890), Les Médailles d'argile (1900), La Cité des eaux (1903). He is also the author of a series of realistic novels and tales, among which are La Canne de jaspe (2nd ed., 1897), La Double maîtresse (5th ed., 1900), Les Vacances d’un jeune homme sage (1903), and Les Amants singuliers (1905). Régnier married Marie de Heredia, daughter of the poet José María de Heredia, and herself a novelist and poet under the pen name of Gérard d'Houville.

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