Marcel Proust, Victor Hugo, Pierre de Ronsard, Honoré de Balzac: these great writers and many more have a rose in their name. Pierre Loti, the travel writer and author of “Fisherman of Iceland”, was not yet among those privileged. This flower and its thorns nevertheless dot the work of the academician – Julien Viaud, his real name. “Roses, roses; in this season which leads so quickly to devouring summer, we live here in the obsession of roses”, he wrote in “Vers Ispahan”, one of his novels published in 1904.
” Pierre Loti loved heady roses to the point of having chosen the Damascus rose for her personal perfume”, even underlines Claudia Leonardi-Clot, the president of the ociation Une Rose pour Aziyadé. Its members had been mobilizing since 2016 to offer a rose to the creator of “Ramuntcho” and hoped to win this bet in 2023, a century after the death of Pierre Loti. After extensive research, Claudia Leonardi-Clot and her ociates unearthed the perfect rose in the heart of the Paul Croix nurseries located in Bourg-Argental (Loire). A new variety was just waiting to be baptized there after being created almost ten years ago.
Last November and February, 160 roses were put up for sale. “They all left, it’s really a success! Sixty other roses have been ordered. They will be delivered in October,” says Claudia Leonardi-Clot, who served for a long time as editor-in-chief of the International ociation of Friends of Pierre Loti. “Exuberant, generous, of a Tyrian pink, with white tabs and yellow or black stamens, genetically close to the Damascus roses so dear to the writer”, this climbing rose flowers from May to November, she explains.
An official baptism of this “collectible rose” and musical festivities are organized this Saturday, May 20, 2023, from 2.30 p.m., in La Limoise, a hamlet located in Échillais – near Rochefort – where Pierre Loti stayed during his childhood.