Wednesday, May 14, 2014


In so far as he wished to be remembered at all, it was not as a man of letters, but as a friend, a connoisseur of life, a man of sympathy un-aging and zest unstaled, a lover of simple jests, a laughing philosopher. - Stephen McKenna
Alexander Teixeira de Mattos
A Dutch journalist, literary critic and publisher, Alexander Teixeira de Mattos was best known for his work as a translator. It's unclear how they met or what they had in common, apart from writing and a love for the same woman.

Teixeira moved from Amsterdam to London with his family in 1874 when he was nine years old. There, he studied at the Kensington Catholic Public School, before attending the Jesuit school Beaumont College. Much the way Bram Stoker became involved with the Lyceum, Teixeira became involved with the Independent Theatre Society - only Teixeira didn't become obsessed. He also worked as the London correspondent for a Dutch newspaper, while editing other journals.

Fluent in English, French, German, Flemish, Dutch, and Danish, Teixeira became the official translator of the works of Maurice Maeterlinck, and would go on to translate Émile Zola, Alexis de Tocqueville, Maurice Leblanc, and many others.

In the 1890s, Teixeira was leading a group that sought to translate the canonical works of fiction by Continental authors for the English reading public. There, he oversaw the translation and publication of six banned novels by Émile Zola.

At the turn of the century, he married Willie's widow, Lily, becoming step-father to the most infamous Wilde of the next hundred years.

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