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(pseudonym of Marceline Félicité Josephine Desbordes). Born June 20, 1786, in Douai; died July 23, 1859, in Paris. French poet.
As a young woman, Desbordes-Valmore was a comedy actress and singer. The books Maria, Elegies and Romances (1819), Elegies and New Poems (1825), Tears (1833), Poor Flowers (1839), and Bouquets and Prayers (1843) won her fame as an outstanding 19th-century romantic poet. The principal motifs of her poetry are the instability of the world, the pain of unrequited love, and the search for peace through the evangelical precepts of goodness and charity.
The naive simplicity and artlessness of images, the melancholy autumnal landscapes, and the melodiousness of Desbordes-Valmore’s poetry attracted the attention of French composers to her lyric works. She also wrote novels on problems of art, love, and family happiness, including An Artist’s Studio (1833). Her fairy tales and stories for children were compiled in The Book of Mothers and Children (1840) and the anthology Young Heads and Young Hearts (1855).
WORKSPoésies complètes, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1931–1932.
In Russian translation:
[Poems translated by M. Lozinskii]. In Frantsuzskie stikhi v perevode russkikh poetov. Moscow, 1969.
REFERENCESAragon, L. “Masterskaia khudozhnika: M. Debord-Val’mor—romanistka.” Sobr. soch., vol. 10. Moscow, 1961.
Zweig, S. “M. Debord-Val’mor.” Sobr. soch., vol. 6. Moscow, 1963.
Sainte-Beuve, C. A. Madame Desbordes-Valmore, sa vie, sa correspondence. Paris, 1870.
Moulin, J. M. Desbordes-Valmore. Paris, 1959.
S. I. VELIKOVSKII