Finding Aid for the Pierre Loti Correspondence 1866-1905

Processed by Rebecca Fenning.
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
University of California, Los Angeles
2520 Cimarron Street
Los Angeles, CA 90018
Phone: (323) 731-8529
Fax: (323) 731-8617
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Pierre Loti Correspondence,
Date (inclusive): 1866-1905
Collection number: MS.2003.003
Creator: Loti, Pierre, 1850-1923
Extent: 1 box 2.5 linear inches
Repository: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
Los Angeles, California 90018
Abstract: Letters written by French author Pierre Loti to members of his family from approximately 1866-1905.
Physical location: Clark Library
Language of Material: Collection materials in French


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Pierre Loti Correspondence, MS.2003.003, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2003.

Processing History

Processed by Rebecca Fenning, August 2009.


Julien Viaud, who would later assume the pseudonym of Pierre Loti, was born born January 14, 1850 in Rochefort, France. Because of family financial and legal problems, Loti was allowed to follow in his late older brother's footsteps and enroll in the naval academy at Brest in 1867. During his time as a naval officer, Loti traveled widely and gathered material for his future novels in such places as Tahiti, Turkey, Senegal, and Japan. His first novel, Aziyadé was published in 1879, and was followed by many many other works, including Le mariage de Loti (1880), Mon frere Yves (1883), Pêcheur d'Islande (1886), Madame Chrysanthème (1887), Le Roman d'un Enfant (1890), Ramuntcho (1897) and Les Désenchantées (1906).
Loti was inducted into the Académie française in 1892. His naval career was of the greatest importance to him, and he reached the rank of captain before being placed on the reserve list in 1910, though he returned to volunteer throughout the First World War.
Loti died 1923 at Hendaye, in the Basque country, one of his most beloved places.

Scope and Content

Letters written by French author and naval officer Pierre Loti to his family during the period 1866-1905. The majority of letters are written to his niece Nadine "Ninet" Duvignau (nee Bon), though there are also a significant number written to his sister Marie Viaud Bon. Topics often concern family finances, social engagements, travels, and writing. Other correspondents include Gustave Duvignau and Armand Bon.


At some previous time, these letters were in the possession of a family member who annotated them in pencil, supplying estimated dates and background information for many of them, and numbering each one consecutively from 1-56. Because most letters do not include dates, the original, numbered order imposed by the previous owner has been retained. In most places, it appears to be roughly chronological.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Bon, Armand
Bon, Marie Viaud
Duvignau, Gustave
Duvignau, Nadine Bon
Authors, French--19th century--Correspondence

Genres and Forms

Letters--France--19th century

Box 1, Folder 1

Letters 1-6, ca 1866-1869

Physical Description: 6 items

Scope and Content Note

One letter written before Loti's entrance to the Ecole Navale, while studying in Paris; the rest written during his time at the Ecole in Brest, and aboard the training ship Le Borda. Many of the letters are written to his sister Marie ("soeur cherie") and discuss family issues and finances.
Box 1, Folder 2

Letters 7-11, 1870-1879

Scope and Content Note

Letters written aboard the training ship Jean Bart, and abroad in various locations including Dakar. Several letters are to sister Marie and her husband Armand, concerning family financial woes.
Box 1, Folder 3

Letters 13-21, 1883-1891

Physical Description: 9 letters

Scope and Content Note

Letters primarily to Ninet, and to his mother, discussing marriage and travel plans, among other topics.
Box 1, Folder 4

Letters 22-25 1892-1897

Physical Description: 4 letters

Scope and Content Note

Letters to Ninet and her husband Gustave Duvignau. One letter concerns Ninet's writing of an article about Loti.
Box 1, Folder 5

Letters 26-35, 1893-1902

Physical Description: 10 letters

Scope and Content Note

Largely letters written to Ninet (now sometimes also spelled "Ninette") as well as one to her father Armand. Several letters concern social engagements and meetings.
Box 1, Folder 6

Letters 36-45 1900s?

Physical Description: 10 letters

Scope and Content Note

Letters written primarily to Ninet, plus several written to her mother Marie.
Box 1, Folder 7

Letters 46-56 1900s?

Physical Description: 11 letters

Scope and Content Note

Letters written primarily to Ninet and to Marie.