Louise Bovie

Louise Bovie, full name Josine Natalie Louise Bovie (1810 – 11 January 1870), was a Belgian writer. She published a novella (un petit roman) called "La Perdrix" (The Partridge) under the pen name Marie Sweerts. She also wrote poetry and short stories, and contributed to the monthly literary journal Revue de belgique, where she was eulogized as having "a distinguished spirit."[1]

Louise Bovie
Josine Natalie Louise Bovie

Died(1870-01-11)11 January 1870 (age 59-60)
Ixelles, Belgium

Bovie was the elder sister of the painter and arts patron Virginie Bovie, with whom she toured Italy in 1855.[2] Neither of the sisters ever married, and Louise eventually moved into Virginie's home on the rue du Trône in Ixelles,[3] a suburb of Brussels, and they lived there together for many years. A third sister, Hortence, had married but was soon widowed.[3] Louise Bovie died at Ixelles and is interred at Dilbeek.

Contes posthumesEdit

Contes posthumes, a 339-page collection of Bovie's stories published posthumously within a year of her death,[4] included '"La Perdrix'" along with "Raphaël," "L'éducation particulière," "Le missionaire," and "Souvenirs d'un caillou." The publication was illustrated by V. Bovie.[5] The stories were mostly realistic, with some Romantic influence in the choice and treatment of the subject matter, which included unjust imprisonment, revenge, suicide, incest, and spiritual trials.[6]

A critic for The Athenaeum, writing in 1870, the year the Contes were published, remarked that Belgian writers of the day suffered from a lack of domestic interest, as Francophone readers preferred literature from France: "what keeps down authors is the coldness of the public, and the silence or hostility of criticism. This is also the reason why authors often go on to the end of their lives without curing themselves of certain faults which no one has been at the pains to draw their attention to." He adduces Bovie as an example, noting the "strong powers" evidenced by her writing, as well as a "warm sensibility" that in the story "Raphaël", about the incestuous desire between a young painter and his mother, became excessive. As a whole, however, the collection was judged to be marred by "sad inequalities, failures and exaggerations."[7] The review in what might be considered her "home" publication, Le revue belgique, thought the collection earned her a worthy place among Belgian short-story writers, but was overall tepid even in its praise.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ D'un esprit distingué: Revue de belgique 4 (January 1870), p. 76 online.
  2. ^ Dictionnaire des femmes belges: XIXe et XXe siècles (Éditions Racine, 2006), p. 75.
  3. ^ a b Anne-Marie ten Bokum, "Virginie Bovie, een vergeten Brusselse schilderes," Art&fact 24: Femmes et créations (2005) retrieved Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine 26 July 2010.
  4. ^ See bibliographic information at Google Books.
  5. ^ Revue de belgique (in French). Mme Ve Parent et fils. 1871.
  6. ^ Jean-Marie d'Heur, "Contes posthumes" entry, Lettres françaises de Belgique: Le roman (Duculot, 1998), vol. 1, p. 111 online.
  7. ^ The Athenaeum (1870), p. 872 online.
  8. ^ Review by "V.M.," Revue de belgique 8 (1871), p. 337 online.

External linksEdit

  • "L'Éducation particulière," a story by Louise Bovie (in French) published posthumously, Revue de belgique (April 1870), pp. 260–287 online.
  • Bibliographical information on Contes posthumes