Roché, Henri-Pierre, 1879-1959

Alternative names
Birth 1879-05-28
Death 1959-04-09
German, French, English

Biographical notes:

Epithet: French author

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000974.0x000107

French journalist; author; art collector, advisor, and dealer.

From the description of Henri Pierre Roché Papers, 1886-1971. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 191957089

Henri Pierre Roché was born in Paris on May 28, 1879. His father died when he was an infant, and, as an only child, Roché had a close relationship with his mother, Clara. Her influence in his personal life is evidenced by his delayed marriages, first to Germaine Bonnard and then Denise Roché, and in his relationships with other women, such as Margaret Hart. She seems to have had an ideal woman in mind for her son, and he appears to have followed this philosophy, waiting for the perfect woman to be the mother of his child. He met many women along the way. He also used a pseudonym for Don Juan et... because of his mother's disapproval of the work.

Many of his relationships Roché later depicted in his novels, namely Jules et Jim (Franz and Helen Hessel) and Deux anglaises and et le continent (Violet and Margaret Hart). A prolific writer, Roché kept journals, and the collection includes these in original form starting in 1901, as well as transcriptions beginning in 1904. These writings were to become his autobiography, but although he did begin such a work, it was not finished before his death at age eighty. He received an award for Jules et Jim at the age of seventy-four, the Prix Claire Belon, or basket of clams, and both this novel and Deux anglaises et le continent were made into films by François Truffaut.

Roché led a rich life, personally as well as professionally. He was a journalist; an art collector, advisor, and dealer; a writer; a guide for the American Industry Mission when it visited France; as well as a diarist and ladies man. Roché had many lovers, oftentimes simultaneously, and often in a triangle with one of his male friends, such as Franz Hessel or Marcel Duchamp. Roché's ulterior motive in his relationships with women seems to have been a desire to study women. In some ways this seems devious; in others, a psychological aspiration, or perhaps a reflection of his mother's dominance and his attempt to break free from it through understanding. At any rate, Roché was a prolific writer, in volume as well as content. He was a man of many interests and talents, and lived a very full and fulfilling life, as this collection well documents.

From the guide to the Henri Pierre Roché Papers TXRC96-A14., ca. 1886-1971, (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center)


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Ark ID:


  • Authors, French--20th century
  • Jules et Jim (Motion picture)
  • Art--Collectors and collecting


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  • Serbia, Europe (as recorded)