Alexander Teixeira de Mattos
|Alexander Teixeira de Mattos|
Portrait of Teixeira de Mattos by E. O. Hoppé
|Born||Alexander Louis Teixeira de Mattos San Payo y Mendes
April 9, 1865
|Died||December 5, 1921
St Ives, Cornwall
|Occupation||Journalist, critic, publisher, professional translator|
Alexander Louis Teixeira de Mattos San Payo y Mendes (April 9, 1865 in Amsterdam – December 5, 1921 in St Ives, Cornwall), known as Alexander Teixeira de Mattos, was a Dutch journalist, literary critic and publisher, who gained his greatest fame as a translator.
The Teixera de Mattos san Paio y Mendes family was Portuguese Jewish in origin, but was driven out of Portugal to the Netherlands by Holy Office persecution. Alexander Teixera de Mattos was born as a Dutch Protestant to an English mother and a Dutch father and an English mother, inheriting the Dutch title of Jonkheer. In 1874, when he was nine years old, he and his family moved from Amsterdam to England. There, he studied under Monsignor Thomas John Capel and converted to Roman Catholicism.
After studying at the Kensington Catholic Public School and at the Jesuit school Beaumont College, Teixeira came into contact with the Dutch-born London impresario J. T. Grein and was made Secretary of Grein's Independent Theatre Society. He worked as a freelance translator, as the London correspondent of a Dutch newspaper, and as the editor of the papers Dramatic Opinions and The Candid Friend, and, in collaboration with Leonard Smithers, in publishing. He became the official translator of the works of Maurice Maeterlinck, beginning with Maeterlinck's The Double Garden.
Teixera was fluent in English, French, German, Flemish, Dutch, and Danish. In addition to the later works of Maeterlinck, his translations include works by Émile Zola, Alexis de Tocqueville, Maurice Leblanc, Gaston Leroux, François René de Chateaubriand, Paul Kruger, Carl Ewald, Georgette Leblanc, Stijn Streuvels, and Louis Couperus. He considered his greatest achievement to be his complete translation of Jean-Henri Fabre's natural history.
In the 1890s, Teixeira was the leading translator for the Lutetian Society, a group whose mission was "to issue to its members, translations of such representative master-pieces of fiction by Continental authors as are unprocurable in English in an unmutilated rendering." He oversaw the Society's publication of unexpurgated translations of six banned novels by Émile Zola in 1894–5, contributing his own translation of the third volume in the series, La curée.
During World War I, Teixera was head of the Intelligence Section, as well as a member of the Advisory Board, of the War Trade Intelligence Department. Midway through the war, Teixeira became a British subject, giving up his title of Jonkheer.
Teixeira was known to his acquaintances as a dandy and a fastidious worker, keeping strictly to set hours, and was linked to the Symbolist movement thanks to his friendship and travels with Arthur Symons.
Teixeira died suddenly on December 5, 1921, in St Ives. The New York Times, in its obituary notice, called him "one of the best translators of foreign languages of the present generation." The high quality and readability of Teixera's work was such that many of his translations are still in print today. For example, though his translation of La curée is over a century old, its accuracy and style have given it a status still unrivaled by more modern versions.
The dates given in the list below are the publication dates for Teixeira de Mattos's translations.
- Arthur Byl
- Yvette Guilbert (1898)
- Antoine de Castellane
- Men and things of my time (1911)
- François René de Chateaubriand
- Louis Couperus
- Ecstasy: A Study of Happiness (1892, translated with John Gray)
- Majesty: A Novel (1894, begun by Teixeira de Mattos, completed by Ernest Dowson)
- The Books of Small Souls (four volumes):
- Small Souls (1914)
- The Later Life (1915)
- The Twilight of the Souls (1917)
- Dr. Adriaan (1918)
- Old People and the Things that Pass (1918)
- The Tour: A Story of Ancient Egypt (1920)
- The Inevitable (1920)
- The Hidden Force: A Story of Modern Java (1921)
- Robert d'Humières
- Through Isle and Empire (1905)
- Carl Ewald
- My Little Boy (1906)
- Two-Legs (1906)
- The spider, and other tales (1907)
- The Old Room (1908)
- The Four Seasons (1913)
- The Old Willow-tree, and other stories (1921)
- The Pond (1922)
- The twelve sisters and other stories (1923)
- Jean-Henri Fabre
- The Works of J. H. Fabre (1912–1922)
- Fernand Grenard
- Tibet: the country and its inhabitants (1904)
- Jozef Israëls
- Spain: the story of a journey (1900)
- Melati van Java
- The Resident's Daughter (1893)
- Paul Kruger
- The memoirs of Paul Kruger, four times president of the South African republic (1902)
- Georgette Leblanc
- The Children's Bluebird (1913)
- The Choice of Life (1914)
- The girl who found the blue bird; a visit to Helen Keller (1914)
- Maeterlinck's dogs (1920)
- Maurice Leblanc
- The Exploits of Arsène Lupin (1907)
- Arsène Lupin versus Holmlock Shears (1909)
- 813 (1910)
- The Frontier (1912)
- The Confessions of Arsène Lupin (1912)
- The Hollow Needle (1913)
- The Crystal Stopper (1913)
- The Teeth of the Tiger (1915)
- The Bomb-Shell: 1914 (1916)
- The Golden Triangle (1917)
- Coffin Island (1920)
- The Eyes of Innocence (1920)
- The secret of Sarek (1920)
- The Three Eyes (1921)
- The Eight Strokes of the Clock (1922)
- The Tremendous Event (1924)
- Gaston Leroux
- The Phantom of the Opera (1911)
- Balaoo (1913)
- Jean Léonard
- Souvenirs of Léonard, hairdresser to Queen Marie-Antoinette (1897)
- Maurice Maeterlinck
- Chrysanthemums and other essays (1904)
- The Double Garden (1904)
- "King Lear" in Paris (1905)
- My Dog (1906)
- Old-fashioned flowers and other open-air essays (1906)
- The Intelligence of the Flowers (1907)
- Life and Flowers (1907)
- The Measure of the Hours (1907)
- News of spring and other nature studies (1907)
- Joyzelle (1907)
- The leaf of olive (1908)
- Mary Magdalene (1910)
- The Blue Bird (1911)
- Death (1911)
- Hours of Gladness (1912)
- Our Eternity (1913)
- Our Friend the Dog (1913)
- The Unknown Guest (1914)
- Life and letters (1914)
- The Wrack of the Storm (1916)
- The Light Beyond (1917)
- The Burgomaster of Stilemonde (1918)
- The Betrothal or the Blue Bird Chooses (1918)
- The Miracle of Saint Anthony (1918)
- Mountain Paths (1919)
- G. Hermine Marius
- Dutch painting in the nineteenth century (1908)
- Eugénie de Coucy Oudinot
- Memoirs of Marshal Oudinot, duc de Reggio (1896)
- Xavier Paoli
- My royal clients (1911)
- Peter Rosegger
- The forest farm: tales of the Austrian Tyrol (1912)
- Stijn Streuvels
- The Path of Life (1915)
- Alexis de Tocqueville
- The Recollections of Alexis de Tocqueville (1896)
- August Weissl
- The Mystery of the Green Car (1913)
- Émile Zola
- The heirs of Rabourdin (1894)
- La curée (1895)
- McKenna, Stephen (1922). Tex: A Chapter in the Life of Alexander Teixeira de Mattos. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company. p. 10.
- "About Authors". The New York Times. 7 May 1904. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- Schenkar, Joan (2000). Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story of Oscar Wilde's Niece. Great Britain: Virago Press. p. 72. ISBN 0306810794.
- McKenna, p. 11.
- McKenna, p. 8.
- McKenna, p. 12.
- Merkle, Denise (2003). "The Lutetian Society". TTR: traduction, terminologie, rédaction 16 (2): 73–101. doi:10.7202/010716ar.
- McKenna, p. 14.
- "Books and Authors". The New York Times. 15 January 1922. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- Ronald Breugelmans (nl), Louis Couperus in den vreemde (Leiden, 2008). Includes 10 letters by Teixeira to the Dutch writer Louis Couperus.
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- Works by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos at Project Gutenberg
- Works by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos at Wikilivres
- Short Probert Encyclopedia bio