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A. Gennevraye or the Allure of the Pseudonym


 L’Ombra is a novella from 1881 about a young woman who uses a pseudonym to be able to perform as an opera singer. It was written by a woman using a nom de plume.

She was born Émilie Adèle Monden-Gennevraye but married twice so is known by at least two other names, Mme Janvier and Mme Perrot. Dumas fils knew her as Adele Janvier. Flaubert mentions her in her letters as Mme Perrot. (source: Claude Schopp from the Université de Rouen)

As a child, I read the first part of l’Ombra in an issue of 1881 literary magazine ‘La Revue des Deux Mondes,’ that I’d found in an abandoned house. I yearned to find out how the story ended – it had melodramatic cliff hanger – but had no idea how to get the next issue of a magazine published over 100 years before. Thanks to the internet, I have the complete story at last. And I’m preparing a piece about its mysterious author…