Marguerite & Alfred

Marguerite & Alfred Interviews

200 years after they first met, Alfred d'Orsay and Marguerite Blessington are interviewed by D'ORSAY on the occasion of Valentine's Day...

Tell us about your first encounter ?

Marguerite : I was holding a literary salon in Saint-James Square in London, I liked to bring together people from all walks of life - that others would never have dared to bring together - I found these little clashes of cultures very amusing. I found these little clashes of cultures very amusing. Women came very little, I was not always tender with their prudery in my writings...

Alfred : I was traveling with my cousin, we were touring Europe, I think my family hoped I would meet a very young woman to marry... but marrying is not always loving... I had been recommended this salon, explaining that it was different. It was a shock in many ways.

What did you think when you saw him/her?

M.B : I found him huge and beautiful, and I especially found him terribly French, as Irish as I was. All the men became tiny the second he entered... and I had the feeling that the sound volume had also singularly shrunk! In two words: I was capsized. I didn't know then that it would be for thirty years.

A.O : I thought she was femininity and intelligence incarnate. I never changed my mind, not even when I found out she was married, nor that she was 12 years older than me. And I found her more beautiful as time went on. People you really love don't age much.

What fascinates you about him/her?

M.B : I am amazed by his ability to renew himself, to find the beautiful and if necessary to create it. Alfred brings magic, he makes everyday life different, can transform a ruin into a palace in a few hours. If he is passionate about a subject, he becomes an expert on it. I sometimes find it hard to keep up with him and it's quite exciting.

A.O : It's his independence that fascinates me. Marguerite lives everything freely, she knew how to free herself from her beauty, when she could have been complacent. She chose to write, to confront her thoughts, she is not afraid of anything and does not care about the look of others. Happy people often make you jealous. Marguerite is above that.

What is the nicest statement he/she ever made to you?

M.B : Do you know many people who have created a fragrance for the person they love? Alfred bottled love for me. Literally. You know his creation as À cœur perdu*. L.B. (Lady Blessington).

A.O : Marguerite once said, "I have never for a moment repented the independent line of conduct I have adopted"... Our story made people talk, Marguerite could have given up, she never did. No story worth telling exists by magic, it is only due to the pugnacity of those who choose themselves.

*With all my heart.