French poet Paul Verlaine caused a scandal when the 28-year old left his wife and children for 17-year old Arthur Rimbaud. Forever stigmatized by the lavender letter, the men fled Paris for London in 1872, where they bounced between various homes. Unfortunately, their storied affair came to an end in Brussels when Verlaine shot young Rimbaud through the hand.
Now, 134 years later, activists, business folk and actors are coming together to memorialize the men’s brief tenure:
One of the houses the couple stayed in during their time in London has been bought by a businessman who intends to restore it.
The house will become a museum dedicated to poetry, a scheme backed by prominent gay actors Stephen Fry and actor Simon Callow.
Mr Callow said it would be “a wonderful memento of the fruitful if nightmarish stay in England of these extraordinary men, of the work they did there, and indeed, of their affair.”
Ah, yes, aren’t doomed love affairs perfect for a touristic jaunt?