Henri de Régnier

Henri François Joseph de Régnier (December 28, 1864 - May 23, 1936) was a French symbolist poet considered one of the foremost of France during the early 20th century.

He was born at Honfleur (Calvados) on the 28th of December 1864, and was educated in Paris for the law. In 1885 he began to contribute to the Parisian reviews, and his verses found their way into most of the French and Belgian periodicals favorable to the symbolist writers. Having begun, however, to write under the leadership of the Parnassians, he retained the classical tradition, though he adopted some of the innovations of Jean Moréas and Gustave Kahn. His gorgeous and 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). M. de Régnier married Mlle Marie de Heredia, daughter of the poet José María de Heredia, and herself a novelist and poet under the name of Gérard d'Houville.

Henri de Régnier died in 1936 at age 71 and was interred in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.


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