Tartarus Press


Monsieur de Phocas is a sewn hardback book of 300 pages printed lithographically, with silk ribbon marker, head and tailbands, full colour frontispiece, printed and foil-stamped boards, and



Limited to 300 copies.


ISBN 978-1-905784-78-3


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Monsieur de Phocas


Jean Lorrain


With an Introduction and Afterword by Francis Amery (Brian Stableford)


Monsieur de Phocas (1901) has been ranked with Huysmans’ À Rebours (1884) as the summation of the French Decadent Movement. In the novel, Jean Lorrain presents experiences of the darker side of his life in Paris as the adventures of the Duc de Fréneuse (Phocas) and his relationship with the svengaliesque English painter Claudius Ethal.


Jean Lorrain, born into a shipping family in Normandy in 1855, changed his name to keep his family out of the literary controversy he courted. In his writing and life he cultivated a kind of fascinated loathing for the decadence of fin de siècle Paris: in the words of Hubert Juin, he ‘loved his epoch to the point of detestation.’


Frances Amery’s sumptuous translation brings to life the grotesque, glittering world of Monsieur de Phocas’s journal, and Amery’s masterly Introduction and Afterword describe Lorrain’s place in Montmartre, Paris and the wider literary world.


Illustration on jacket and boards by Alastair.




'Jean Lorrain's Monsieur de Phocas is one of the most intriguing, mesmerising and memorable novels I've read in a long while, because once you've read it, you won't be able to forget it. It lingers on your mind and you'll be thinking of its contents for a long time after the final page has been read. It's a perfect literary marriage of decadence and depravity, visioned by an author who himself had personal knowledge and experiences about many things described in the story.'  Risingshadow

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