Prisons de femmes
Author: Francis Carco (pseud. van François Carcopino-Tusoli) (1886 - 1958)
Publisher: Éditions de France
'The poetess slayer'
The photographs inserted into this copy of Prisons de femmes form an interesting category unto themselves. Carco brought along his own photographer Manuel on all his visits. Three photos show Carco in the prison’s interior, while a portrait photograph shows the horrifying appearance of a Saint-Lazare prisoner: Marie Louise Weissman-Groues, better known by the name of her husband Bessarabo, whom she had murdered. The 'Bessarabo affair' was featured prominently in the press at the time; even The New York Times carried sensational articles about the 'Poetess slayer'. The entire world seemed enthralled by this murderess who wrote poetry. Mrs. Bessarabo had killed her husband, pretended that he was away on business, and sent off his lifeless body in a package by mail. Carco mainly wished to visit the prisons in order to meet women like Bessarabo. 'The names of famous criminal women strengthened my resolve. I wanted to see the centre of seclusion and imprisonment of these stars of the Judicial Court. Some, who had received life sentences, impressed me so much that I created separate files for them.'
Description: Prisons de femmes / Francis Carco. - Paris : Éditions de France, 1931. – 269 p. ; 21 cm
Printer: Nouvelle (Parijs) Dardaillon (Saint-Denis)
Edition: 660 copies
This copy: Number III of 37 on papier Hollande, printed for Francis Carco
Note: Author's copy. With autograph dedication from Francis Carco to himself. Signed by the author for the library of Anny Antoine.
Note: With two letters of the prison ministers of Revues and Montpellier to the Comtesse de Jumilhac, permissions papers for prison visit granted to Carco and Manuel, photographer, documents of the department of Justice concerning the detainees figuring in the book, and with 4 original photographs
Shelfmark: KW Koopm C 1564 en KW 77 H 1 (nr. 38. fol. 2-23)
- Paul van Capelleveen, Sophie Ham, Jordy Joubij, Voices and visions. The Koopman Collection and the Art of the French Book. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands; Zwolle, Waanders, 2009
- Paul van Capelleveen, Sophie Ham, Jordy Joubij, Voix et visions. La Collection Koopman et l'Art du Livre français. La Haye, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Bibliothèque nationale des Pays-Bas; Zwolle, Waanders, 2009
- Francis Carco, Visite à Saint-Lazare. Paris, Lesage, 1925
- Albert Letellier et Robert Debled, Les prisons de femmes. Paris, Marcel Rivière, 1923
- The New York Times, 8 August 1920, p. 5; 10 August 1920, p. 14; 22 June 1922, p. 2.
- Le petit journal illustré, 1643 (18 juin 1922).