Lucien Descaves Papers
Total size 4.4 m.
Consultation Not restricted
User restriction Only microfilms can be consulted
Descaves, Lucien. Born in Paris 1861, died in Paris 1949; writer and libertarian sympathizer; published his first novel in 1882; became famous through several antimilitarist novels, particularly `Sous-offs' which earned him a trial for disaffection in 1889; deeply interested in the Paris Commune of 1871, which he witnessed as a child and which was declared on his birthday (18 March), he started in the mid-1890s to accumulate the documentation for several novels and plays on the Commune and the fate of her activists in exile (the `proscription'), the most important of which were `La Colonne' 1901 and `Philémon, vieux de la vieille' 1913; his plays on revolutionary or libertarian subjects include `La Cage' 1898, written in collaboration with Georges Darien, `La Clairière' with Maurice Donnay 1900 and `Les oiseaux de passage' with Maurice Donnay 1904; executor of the will of Gustave Lefrançais, he edited and republished the latter's `Souvenirs d'un révolutionnaire'; as a collector, he was Max Nettlau's most hated rival; in 1907, however, they managed to share the bulk of the vast collection of revolutionary ephemera (handbills, posters, etc.) from the collection of Jules Perrier, disposed of by the Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire of Geneva.
Documents concerning the Paris Commune and its aftermath primarily collected by Lucien Descaves and consisting of personal files of Communards/members of the International Working Men's Association and subject files.
Personal files: Gustave Lefrançais: some letters, handwritten manuscript of `Dix années de la proscription en Suisse, 1871-1880', notes, clippings of the serial `Souvenirs' from Le Cri du Peuple;
André Léo (pseudonym of Léodile Champseix): correspondence in particular with her two sons and with Benoît Malon, some correspondence between others, handwritten memoirs, manuscripts of her plays, manuscript by Lucien Descaves about André Léo and Benoît Malon, personal documents, pamphlets, leaflets and press clippings;
Louise Michel: extensive correspondence with relatives, friends, Communards, socialists and anarchists mainly from c. 1871 until her death in 1905, handwritten manuscript of her memoirs, other handwritten manuscripts, some poetry, notes and notebooks, personal documents, commemorative articles, pamphlets, leaflets, press clippings;
Félix Pyat: some correspondence, handwritten manuscripts of his plays, press clippings of articles concerning Pyat;
Henri Rochefort: letters mainly written in his capacity of editor of La Marseillaise and Le Mot d'Ordre, album with letters, signatures and visiting cards in sympathy with his duel in 1880, manuscripts of his articles, clippings of a serial on Rochefort by Alexandre Zévaès;
Pauline Roland: correspondence in particular with Gustave Lefrançais, personal documents, handwritten memoir by her son Jean Roland, press clippings of articles concerning her, handwritten necrology;
Raoul Urbain: correspondence mainly received while in prison 1871 and of the period 1872-1882, handwritten manuscripts including a journal kept during his voyage from Nouméa to Paris and part of his `Souvenirs d'un exié', press clippings of his articles and on his trial, miscellanea;
Jules Vallès: some correspondence; typescript of a biography of Vallès E. Tromp, many documents in his commemoration, press clippings of his articles;
Eugène Varlin: some correspondence, in particular letters from his brother, personal documents, documents concerning him, etc.
Eugène Vermersch: handwritten manuscripts, notes, documents concerning him, etc.
Subject files: on Communards in exile in Brussels, Geneva, London, etc.; the 17th arrondissement in Paris during the Paris Commune and its deputy-mayor Benoît Malon, consisting of correspondence and administrative documents; the Commune of Lyon and its exiles in Switzerland; on New Caledonia with mainly administrative documents concerning the prisoners; typescript of the police records of Communards in London and Belgium 1871-1874, etc. many files with autographs of Communards, ex-Communards and their descendants, people interested in the Commune and others; correspondence, manuscripts and notes of Descaves; pamphlets; leaflets; press clippings and miscellanea; photocopies of letters by Benoît Malon to Pietro Ellero 1879-1886 and Léon Cladel 1886-1889.
Inventory made by Quentin Dupuis in 2002-2003
Secondary creatorLefrançais, Gustave. Léo, André. Pyat, Félix. Rochefort, Henri. Roland, Pauline. Urbain, Raoul. Vallès, Jules. Varlin, Eugène. Vermersch, Eugène.
Alternate Form of Material
Partly published in: Documents relatifs aux militants Belges de L'Association Internationale des Travailleurs. Correspondance 1865-1872. Textes réunis, établis et annotés par Daisy Eveline Devreese. Louvain/Bruxelles, 1986.
51 microfilms (2004)