The Gentlemen's Club
December 13, 2012 8:17 PM   Subscribe

Tweedland has some interesting stories and characters. Here's two to get you started:
Robert de Montesquiou - "Tall, black-haired, rouged, Kaiser-moustached, he cackled and screamed in weird attitudes, giggling in high soprano, hiding his little black teeth behind an exquisitely gloved hand – the poseur absolute. He was said to have slept with Sarah Bernhardt and vomited for a week afterwards."

Lord Berners - "As a child, having heard that if you throw a dog into water it will learn how to swim, he threw his mother's canine companion out of the window on the grounds that if one applies the same logic it should learn how to fly. (The dog was unharmed, and he was "thrashed" by his mother.)"
posted by unliteral (7 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Hee! It's fun to watch his live traffic feed.
posted by unliteral at 9:02 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's quite fun to look at what browsers people are using via that live traffic feed... But then again I am entertained by boring things it seems...
posted by ~Bert at 10:01 PM on December 13, 2012

So, Montesquiou & his wardrobe, house, conversation, collections and entertainments = a 19th century one-man tumblr. Where "tumblr" is all of tumblr.

I love the live traffic feed, too. It's fun to see mefi coming in from all over the globe.
posted by taz at 1:10 AM on December 14, 2012

I love the live traffic feed, too. It's fun to see mefi coming in from all over the globe
Me too. Is this something you also have from your admin panel that you can share? This sort of thing has been asked before and knocked back. But I find it NOT BORING at all. In fact it fascinates me.
Sorry to bring it up again, but you were supportive taz.
posted by unliteral at 3:12 AM on December 14, 2012

'The Gentlemen's Club' - I'm not a man, much less a gentleman.
posted by AnnElk at 6:47 AM on December 14, 2012

Jolly well good!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:49 AM on December 14, 2012

Great find! From the Montesquiou page:
Régnier on one occasion had set tact aside long enough to announce at a soiree of the Baronne Alphonse de Rothschild that instead of a cane, Montesquiou would do better to carry a muff. The remark was repeated to the count, who lost no time in challenging the poet to a settlement with swords. This was a dauntless step to prove his courage after the Charity Bazaar libel and also because he had the assurance that his adversary was as inexperienced a duellist as he.

They met at an early hour in a deserted park at Neuilly. The park didn’t remain deserted for very long, however, for the count had sent out invitations to all his friends and acquaintances and they arrived on the premises in varying states of sincere concern or of wild amusement. One palpitating titled lady had brought along her family chaplain to administer a possible last sacrament. Some hundred or more, they flocked to the scene as though to an outdoor pageant. The pageant must have been well worth the ten-kilometer trip. Neither contestant had the remotest idea of how to handle a sword. After the signal to start, Montesquiou leaped to and fro posturing like an amateur d’Artagnan, Régnier stood stiff and pallid, his monocle shaking visibly. Eventually Régnier managed to snip Montesquiou in the thumb, an indulgent surgeon pronounced the slight incision to be a wound, the onlookers applauded and the count retired to a hero’s couch (that carved dragon affair) from which he received a steady steam of worshipful visitors. He himself announced that it was the best party he had ever given. The next day, cool, collected and perfectly groomed in faun color, he gave a conference on d’Annunzio.
Montesquiou's life was worth living if only to inspire Proust's creation of Baron Charlus, one of the great characters of world literature.
posted by languagehat at 9:47 AM on December 14, 2012

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