Marie-Jean-Léon, Marquis d'Hervey de Saint Denys

The Marquis D'Hervey de Saint-Denys
Native name Marie-Jean-Léon Lecoq
Born (1822-05-06)6 May 1822
Paris, France
Died 2 November 1892(1892-11-02) (aged 70)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Institutions Collège de France
Academic advisors Stanislas Julien
Notable students Édouard Chavannes

Marie-Jean-Léon Lecoq, Baron d'Hervey de Juchereau, Marquis d'Hervey de Saint-Denys (Chinese: 德理文; pinyin: Dé Lǐwén; 6 May 1822 2 November 1892) son of Alexandre Le Coq or Lecoq, Baron d'Hervey (1780-1844), and Mélanie Juchereau de Saint-Denys (1789-1844) was born on 6 May 1822. D'Hervey was a French sinologist. He made an intense study of Chinese, and in 1851 D'Hervey published his Recherches sur l'agriculture et l'horticulture des Chinois (Transl: Research on the agriculture and horticulture of the Chinese), in which he dealt with the plants and animals that potentially might be able to be acclimatized to and introduced in Western countries.[1] He translated as well Chinese texts as some Chinese stories, not of classical interest, but valuable for the light they throw on Chinese culture and customs. He was a man of letters too. E.g. he translated some Spanish-language works,[2] and wrote a history of the Spanish drama.[3] D'Hervey also created a literary translation theory, paraphrased by Joshua A. Fogel, the author of a book review on De l'un au multiple: Traductions du chinois vers les langues européenes, as "empowering the translator to use his own creative talents to embellish wherever necessary—not a completely free hand, but some leeway to avoid the pitfall of becoming too leaden."[4]

By adoption by his uncle Amédée Louis Vincent Juchereau (1782-1858) he became Marquis de Saint-Denys.
At the Paris Exhibition of 1867, Hervey de Saint Denys acted as commissioner for the Chinese exhibits.[5] and is decorated by the Legion of Honour.[6]
On June the 11th 1868 the Marquis married the 19-year-old Austrian orphan Louise de Ward.[7]
In 1874 he succeeded Stanislas Julien in the chair of Chinese at the Collège de France, while in 1878 he was elected a member of the Académie des Inscriptions et de Belles-Lettres. D'Hervey died in his hotel at Paris on 2 November 1892.[8][9][10]

More recently Hervey de Saint Denys has begun to be known for his introspective studies on dreams.[11] D'Hervey was also one of the earliest oneirologists (specialists in the study of dreams), and is nowadays regarded as "The Father" of modern lucid dreaming. In 1867 there appeared as an anonymous publication a book entitled Les rêves et les moyens de les diriger; observations pratiques (Translation: Dreams and the Ways to Direct Them: Practical Observations). In a footnote on page 1 from the 1878-edition of Alfred Maury's work Le sommeil et les rêves D'Hervey de Saint-Denys was identified as the writer of it.[12] Writers like e.g. Havelock Ellis (1911),[13] Johann Stärcke (1912),[14] A. Breton (1955)[15] a.o. refer to the fact that the original anonymous publication was hard to lay hands on as copies were scarce, because shortly after the publication publisher Amyot went broke. Sigmund Freud (Die Traumdeutung.Wien; Deuticke.1900) e.g. states: "Maury, le sommeil et les rêves,Paris,1878, p.19,polemisiert lebhaft gegen d'Hervey,dessen Schrift ich mir trotz aller Bemühung nicht verschaffen konnte"(Transl.:Maury, Sleep and Dreams, Paris,1878, p. 19, argues strenuously against d'Hervey, whose book I could not lay hands on in spite of all my efforts).

D'Hervey started recording his dreams on a daily basis from the age of 13. (At page 4 of his work Les Rêves et les Moyens de Les Diriger the author stated that he was in his fourteenth year when he started his dreamwork). In this book, the author proposed a theoretical framework, techniques to control dreams, and he described dreams in which the "dreamer is perfectly aware he is dreaming". Recently the question has been raised who has coined for the very first time the term 'lucid dreaming'. Generally it is contributed to Frederik van Eeden, but some scientists question if this was inspired by the use of the term by Saint-Denys.[16] Denys describes his own lucid dreams with sentences like 'I was aware of my situation'. It is erroneous to state that Denys's book deals mainly with lucid dreams. It does not. Generally it is focused on the development of dreams, not specific on lucid dreams. It is only in recent years that Saint-Denys was rediscovered for his oneirology work. In an article from Den Blanken & Meijer, the authors wondered about the fact that there were so little biographical data available on such an erudite person as Saint-Denys was, and presented some.[17][18][19]

In 1964 Editor Tchou reprinted Les Rêves Et Les Moyens de Les Diriger,[20] but the 1867-Appendix, entitled 'Un rêve apres avoir pris du hatchich' (Transl.: A dream after I took hashish) had, due to its contents, been left out, without indication. In 1982 an abbreviated English edition appeared, which was based on the Tchou-edition, and consequently it did not contain the Appendix either, nor did it refer to it. The Den Blanken & Meijer-article revealed this fact, and the authors presented for the first time an English translation of this Appendix. Others were stimulated by above,and in 1992 the French Dream Society 'Oniros' held in Paris a commemoration on Saint-Denys. Leading dream specialists Carolus den Blanken, Celia Green, Paul Tholey (1937-1998) and Oniros president-elect Roger Ripert paid their respect.[21] In 1995 society Oniros published an integral French version of Denys' book on dreams, and Italian, Dutch and Japanese translations appeared.[22][23][24] Recently several French editions of Les Rêves has been published. It is not always evident if these (E)books are integral versions or based on the 1964-Tchou edition. In 2016 an integral English version (inclusive the original frontpage, backcover and frontispice) appeared as a free of charge E-book with the title:'Dreams and the Ways to Direct Them: Practical Observations', edited by Drs. Carolus den Blanken & Drs. Eli Meijer. In this translation, the designer of the front cover of the 1867-original is revealed, namely Henri Alfred Darjou (1832-1875), French painter and draughtsman.




  1. Hervey de Saint-Denys (1850). Recherches sur l'agriculture et l'horticulture des Chinois et sur les végétaux, les animaux et les procédés agricoles que l'on pourrait introduire... dans l'Europe occidentale et le nord de l'Afrique. (Studies on the agriculture and horticulture of the Chinese). Allouard et Kaeppelin. Paris.
  2. Hervey de Saint-Denys (1847). Los Herreros, Le poil de la prairie. Imprimerie De Boulé. Paris.
  3. Hervey de Saint-Denys (1850). Histoire du théâtre en Espagne ; De la rareté et du prix des médailles romaines.
  4. Fogel, Joshua A. De l'un au multiple: Traductions du chinois vers les langues européenes (book review). The Journal of Asian Studies, ISSN 0021-9118, 02/2001, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp. 159 – 161. Available from JStor.
  6. dossier légion d'honneur
  7. mariage act p. 10/31
  8. Henri Cordier (1892). Necrologie: Le Marquis d'Hervey Saint Denys . T'oung Pao- International Journal of Chinese Studies. Vol. 3 No. 5, pag. 517-520. Publisher E.J. Brill/Leiden/The Netherlands.
  9. Alexandre Bertrand (1892). Annonce du décès de M. le marquis Léon d'Hervey de Saint-Denys, membre de l'Académie.(Transl.: Announcement of the death of Marquis d'Hervey de Saint-Denys, member of the Academie). Comptes rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Vol. 36, Issue 6, page 377.
  10. Alexandre Bertrand (1892).Paroles prononcées par le Président de l'Académie à l'occasion de la mort de M. le marquis d'Hervey-Saint-Denys. Comptes rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Vol. 36, Issue 6, pages 392-397.
  11. Green,Celia-Lucid Dreams.Hamish Hamilton Ltd./London;1968.
  12. Maury, A.F.A. (1878).Le sommeil et les rêves;études psychologiques sur ces phénomènes et les divers états qui s'y rattachent suivies de recherches sur le développement de l'instinct et de l'intelligence dans leurs rapports avec le phénomènes du sommeil.Paris:Didier et Cie.(originally appeared in 1861)..
  13. Ellis, H. (1911).The world of dreams. Boston: Houghton Mifflin..
  14. Stärcke, J. (1912). Nieuwe droomexperimenten in verband met oudere en nieuwere theorieën(transl.: New dreamexperiments connected with older and newer theories). In: Psychiatrische en Neurologische Bladen, March–April, Nederlandsche Vereniging voor Psychiatrie en Neurologie,Amsterdam: Uitg. F.van Rossen..
  15. Breton, A. (1955). Les vases communicants. Paris: Gallimard..
  16. Love, Daniel (2013). Are You Dreaming?: Exploring Lucid Dreams: A Comprehensive Guide. Exeter: Enchanted Loom Publishing. pp. 17–21. ISBN 978-0957497702.
  17. C.M. den Blanken & E.J.G. Meijer (1988/1991). An Historical View of "Dreams and the Ways to Direct Them; Practical Observations" by Marie-Jean-Léon LeCoq, le Marquis d'Hervey-Saint-Denys. Lucidity Letter, December, 1988, Vol.7, No.2,p. 67-78. Revised Edition:Lucidity,1991,Vol.10 No.1&2, p. 311-322. This article contains an English translation of the forgotten Appendix from the 1867-book.
  18. B. Schwartz (1992). Ce qu'on a du savoir, cru savoir, pu savoir sur la vie du marquis d'Hervey de Saint-Denys.(Transl.: What was supposed to be known and what was believed to be known). Oniros no. 37/38, pag. 4-8. Soc. Oniros/Paris.
  19. Blanken, Carolus M. (1990/2000)-The Art of Lucid Dreaming: A Manual. Utrecht
  20. Hervey de Saint-Denys (1964). Les Rêves et les moyens de les diriger. Paris: Tchou/Bibliothèque du Merveilleux. Preface by Robert Desoille. Edited by Jacques Donnars. This edition does not contain 'The Appendix' from the 1867-book.
  21. O. de Luppé, A. Pino, R. Ripert & B. Schwartz (1995). D'Hervey de Saint-Denys 1822-1892; Biographie, Correspondance familiale, l'oeuvre de l'onirologue & du sinologue; les hommages rendus à l'auteur lors du centenaire de sa mort et l'exposition artistique autour de ses rêves. (D'Hervey de Saint-Denys 1822-1892; Biography, Family correspondence, oneirological and sinological works; Homages to the author on the centenary of his death and artistic exposition regarding his dreams) Oniros, BP 30, 93451 Ile Saint-Denis cedex. ISBN 2-909318-05-2. The homages are by Carolus den Blanken, Celia Green, Roger Ripert and Paul Tholey.
  22. Hervey de Saint-Denys.(1995) Les Reves et Les Moyens de Les Diriger:Observations Pratiques. Soc.Oniros/Paris
  23. Hervey de Saint-Denys (2000). I sogni e il modo di dirigerli.Translation by C.M. Carbone , Il Minotauro, Phoenix. ISBN 9788886732246.
  24. Hervey de Saint-Denys (2005/2013) Dromen: Praktische Observaties. ISBN 978-90-82096309. Transl. & Edited by Carolus den Blanken. Publ. Den Blanken/Utrecht.

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Léon d'Hervey de Saint-Denys.

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.