Je viens de recevoir ce nouvel article passionnant de l'Amie Mary Alice Bennett, de Tucson, en Arizona. Un Grand Merci à Mary Alice !... :
Texte en version originale, en Anglais :
Sauniere and the Phantom Hapsburg – The New Evidence.
On July 13, 1890 Beranger Sauniere`s Hapsburg friend Johann Salvator, also known as Johann Orth, set sail from Buenas Aires, Brazil to sail around Cape Horn at the southern end of South America. He intended to return to Valparaiso but was never seen again. There were some reported sightings of him after that, but he seemed to have disappeared. On May 6, 1911 he was declared legally dead. Even though he had apparently distanced himself from his royal Hapsburg family, the Emperor kept on setting aside money for him which was available to Sauniere through the dual bank accounts that Johann had set up for them in France. Some say that Johann had faked his own death because the entire royal family was in danger from the Serbian gang who eventually assassinated Franz Joseph, the heir to the Austrian throne. Johann also held views that differed from his monarchist relatives. Did Johann Salvator go underground and visit the area of Rennes-le-Chateau secretly, is there any proof that he was still alive after 1890? Thanks to the newly translated Castillon diary, we have evidence that he was.
Photo ici de l'Abbé Béranger Saunière.
This entry was written in 1900 and describes a get-together lasting several days at Castle Cabrieres which was owned by the opera diva Emma Calve :
Top of Form
La Diva has spent lavishly on renovating and restoring with a certain amount of modernisation to make it amenable to present day expectations of comfort whilst retaining its medieval atmosphere. The work is by no means finished yet.he party of guests comprised Castillon of course, JB described as La Diva's manager; CD a composer and his mistress EB the wife of a prosperous Parisian banker and previously mistress of GF another composer, she is an accomplished "amateur" singer; P a Polish exile, a pianist; Leconte, "a symbolist poet, effete and languid, writer of erotically charged verse usually about the devotees of Sappho on the Island of Lesbos and other like classical themes. CD is at present setting some of these to music." [the words in inverted commas are Castillon's own]; Marcel "a novelist of fragile health who is writing the novel of the 20th century having tired of and been revolted by what he calls the sweaty, heaving, realism of Zola and his clique of the late 19th."; JO "an odd fish, big, burly man with the appearance of a common labourer or deckhand rather who claims to be an English citizen, despite a pronounced guttural teutonic sort of accent, ship-owner and mercantile trader operating out of Gibraltar. Has a yacht moored at Port-Vendres."; JO's wife Molly "she is definitely teutonic, Viennese actually it transpires, plump, attractive embonpoint, blonde, singer in light opera and operetta."; the Ser "apparently the high-priest of the Symbolists and a founder of the Rose+Croix." So very interesting company and as far as the ladies are concerned quite a nest of nightingales. [This house-party lasts from the 14th to the 17th May. Castillon grumbles about being alone following the desertion of Semiramis but nevertheless confesses to enjoying himself immensely. What they got up to is described at some length but is not really relevant to the next entries.]
This last note is by the translator who goes on to research the identities of the guests identified by their initials only :
Photo ici de la Tour Magdala de l'Abbé Béranger Saunière, à Rennes le Château.
“ I am still working on Castillon. Will be going up to London this coming weekend to consult with a friend on certain passages. At present working on that house-party at La Diva's (Emma Calve) and what they got up to and think I have identified most of the guests mentioned with some certainty. CD = Debussy, EB = Emma Bardac his mistress and later wife (1908); P = the Polish pianist Paderewski maybe; Leconte = the symbolist, decadent poet and writer of pornographic novels is I think Pierre Louys who inspired Debussy's L'Apres Midi d'une Faun; Marcel = Proust based on the fact that his A la Recherche de Temps Perdues is certainly an oustanding novel of the 20th century; JO = ?- this one is a puzzle I must admit but could it be Johann Orth the 'lost' Archduke turned sailor? His morganatic wife was a singer in Vienna I think named Ludmilla ? known as Millie although Castillon says Molly. But wasn't Johann Orth officially dead by this time? The Ser is surely Sar Peladan. Anyway the work goes on. Will keep in touch.”.
Photo ici de Johann Salvator.
The initials J.O. are indeed unique and the translator was not familiar with Sauniere`s mysterious connection to Johann Orth. Saenz de Castillon was himself a writer and history is indebted to him for the detailed descriptions in his journal. Castillon describes “J.O. “ as claiming to be an English citizen with a guttural teutonic (Austrian?) accent. He had the appearance of a deckhand and was purportedly a ship-owner and mercantile trader operating out of Gibraltar with a yacht moored at Port-Vendres. His wife was Austrian and an opera singer, it may have been she who was the connection to Emma Calve`s circle. This J.O. certainly sounds like the supposedly deceased Johann Orth – Salvator`s alias. Castillon apparently did not know who he was and was puzzled by his accent.
This is one of many revelations in this treasure of a diary recently discovered in a Spanish trunk purchased at auction in England by the translator.
Next time Castillon accompanies La Diva to the Languedoc after the house party breaks up, describing his visit to Rennes-le-Chateau in detail – “A Visit to Rennes-le-Chateau with Emma Calve 1900”. The entry was written in 1900, but some of Castillon`s accounts were recollections to be used, perhaps, in a future autobiography.
Mary Alice Bennett
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