Girardin, Delphine (1804–1855)
Girardin, Delphine (1804–1855)
French author. Name variations: Madame Émile de Girardin; Madame de Girardin; Delphine Gay; Delphine de Girardin; Delphine Gay de Girardin; (pseudonyms) Vicomte de Launay or Le Vicomte Delaunay; Charles de Launay. Born Delphine Gay on January 26, 1804, in Aix-la-Chapelle, Prussia; died on June 29, 1855, in Paris, France; daughter of Sophie Gay (1776–1852, a novelist) and M. Gay (a receiver-general of the department of the Roër or Ruhr); married Émile de Girardin (1806–1881, a journalist and economist), in 1831.
Essais poétiques (1824); Nouveaux Essais poétiques (1825); Le Lorgnon (1831); Contes d'une vieille fille à ses neveux (1832); Le Marquis de Pontanges (1835); La Canne de M. Balzac (1836); L'École des journalistes (1839); Lettres parisiennes (1843); Judith (1843); Cléopâtre (1847); C'est la faute du mari (1851); Lady Tartufe (1853); Il ne faut pas jouer, avec la douleur (1853); La Joie fait peur (1854); and Le Chapeau d'un horloger (1854).
Delphine Girardin, daughter of M. Gay, a receiver-general of the department of the Roër, and novelist Sophie Gay , grew up in a brilliant literary society thanks to the influence of her famous mother. A talented poet and writer, Delphine was also a beautiful woman who displayed spirit and was widely considered the queen of Romantic cénacles (literary circles).
Girardin's romantic writings, Essais poétiques (1824) and Nouveaux Essais poétiques (1825), best reflect the sensitivity and spirituality for which she was known. Her writing was so popular that, during a trip to Italy, she was crowned in the tradition of Germaine de Staël 's Corrine. Her trip produced various poems including the popular "Napoline" (1833).
In 1831, Delphine married Émile de Girardin, editor of La Presse. Taking advantage of her new literary access, she published a series of witty letters under the pseudonym Vicomte de Launay between 1836 and 1848. These letters were published in a collection titled Lettres parisiennes in 1843. After her marriage, she established a salon, welcoming such literary stars of the day as Théophile Gautier, Honoré de Balzac, Alfred de Musset, and Victor Hugo.
Girardin was a prolific writer and her skills extended to various genres, including short stories, plays, novels, and poetry. She produced a collection of short stories in 1836 entitled La Canne de M. Balzac. Her early poetic work from 1822, "Le Dévouement des médicins français et des souers de Ste Camille dans la peste de Barceloné," was crowned by the Académie Français. Other works include Le Lorgnon (1831), Contes d'une vieille fille à ses neveux (1832), Le Marquis de Pontanges (1835), Il ne faut pas jouer, avec la douleur (1853), C'est la faute du mari (1851), La Joie fait peur (1854), and Le Chapeau d'un horloger (1854). Une Femme qui déteste son mari appeared after her death in 1855. Her plays include Judith (1843), Cléopâtre (1847), Lady Tartufe (1853) and the banned L'Ecole des journalistes (1839).
Judith C. Reveal , freelance writer, Greensboro, Maryland