Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Frederick Rolfe, Baron Corvo, author of The Venice Letters.


Frederick William Rolfe , 1860-1913, was born in London.

He called himself Baron Corvo.

He was gay and wanted to become a priest.

He became a photographer, painter, teacher, and writer.

Von Gloeden photo of Italy

In Venice, he wrote The Venice Letters (written 1909-1910, published 1974).

This is an uninhibited account of his sexual adventures with teenage Venetian boys.

Rolfe's masterpiece is Hadrian the Seventh (1904) whose hero is expelled from a seminary but manages to become Pope.

Von Gloeden photo of Italy

In Rolfe's The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole (written 1909-1910, published 1934) the central character rescues a boy from an earthquake.

The boy turns out to be a girl, but, in Venice is dressed as a gondolier (based on Rolfe's special friend of the time, Ermenegildo Vianello).

Von Gloeden photo of Italy


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