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Plaque (lost): Paul Verlaine - lost plaque

Erection date: 1922

Site: Paul Verlaine - lost plaque (1 memorial)

W1, Howland Street, 31

We are told by our Brussels correspondent, Jean-Michel Pochet, that in 1922 a plaque was erected at Howland Street: "Le poète français Paul Verlaine qui vécut ici..." However there were two problems: Firstly, as noted by "The Friends of Arthur Rimbaud", only Verlaine was mentioned, Rimbaud's name having been omitted on grounds of morality. And secondly, the street numbers having changed, the plaque was on the wrong house. This was all solved when, in 1938 the house was demolished. A Mr Underwood saved the plaque and gave it to the Verlaine Bibliothèque, but today no one can find it.

All we can add is that it is not (2016) in Howland Street and Rimbaud was probably omitted because, at the time, he was just not considered worthy of mention. See Verlaine's plaque in Royal College Street for more information about Verlaine's time in London with Rimbaud.

Some information about this address is given in Graham Robb's "Rimbaud": Shortly before 24 September 1872 Verlaine and Rimbaud moved into a room in 34 Howland Street, in an eighteenth century terrace. This was pulled down in 1938 and in the 1960’s the Post Office Tower was erected on the site. Robb confirms that the plaque did not mention Rimbaud.

On the Verlaine Soho Mural podcast we learnt that this plaque was unveiled by French poet Paul Valery.

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This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Paul Verlaine - lost plaque

Information Subjects commemorated

Paul Verlaine

French poet. Born Metz, France. Has been described as an ugly, homicidal alco...

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