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Imagined Cosmopolis

Internationalism and Cultural Exchange, 1870s–1920s


Edited By Charlotte Ashby, Grace Brockington, Daniel Laqua and Sarah Victoria Turner

The period from the 1870s to the 1920s was marked by an interplay between nationalisms and internationalisms, culminating in the First World War, on the one hand, and the creation of the League of Nations, on the other. The arts were central to this debate, contributing both to the creation of national traditions and to the emergence of ideas, objects and networks that forged connections between nations or that enabled internationalists to imagine a different world order altogether. The essays presented here explore the ways in which the arts operated internationally during this crucial period of nation-making, and how they helped to challenge national conceptions of citizenship, society, homeland and native tongue. The collection arises from the AHRC-funded research network Internationalism and Cultural Exchange, 1870–1920 (ICE; 2009–2014) and its enquiry into the histories of cultural internationalism and their historiographical implications.

This collection has been edited by members of the ICE network convened by Grace Brockington and Sarah Victoria Turner.

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2. The Fabulous Destiny of Saint-Patrice: Royalist Cosmopolitanism and Republican France (Jessica Wardhaugh)


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2   The Fabulous Destiny of Saint-Patrice: Royalist Cosmopolitanism and Republican France

The adventures of Saint-Patrice were fabulous indeed. Born in San Francisco in 1854 as James Aloysius Harden Hickey, this remarkable adventurer ­successfully reinvented himself as Saint-Patrice – in tribute to his Irish ancestry – in the Third Republic of late nineteenth-century France. In doing so, he crafted an ever-shifting, neo-medieval persona through a series of fantasy novels while simultaneously establishing Le Triboulet, one of the most spirited and frequently censored satirical newspapers of its time.1 Married to the daughter of an Italian aristocrat and with the dress and demeanour of the perfect gentleman (he was also a renowned duellist), Harden Hickey seemed to blend easily into the cosmopolitan aristocratic society of the French capital. Even when exiled by the Republican government, he continued to move in ever-widening circles: frequenting other royalists – and even the pretender himself – in Brussels and Frohsdorf, before travelling eastwards and writing on theosophy, then marrying the daughter of an American millionaire. Finally, in a truth stranger than fiction, he declared himself king of Trinidad – not the Caribbean island, but its lesser known, uninhabited namesake in the South Atlantic. Briefly recognized on the world stage, Harden Hickey was eventually ousted following a diplomatic battle between Great Britain and Brazil. Undeterred, he then joined royalist activists in Hawaii – even considering becoming king of Honolulu – but with the collapse of his fantastical ambitions, he ← 35 | 36 → decided to perish ‘as...

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