Saint John Perse real name is Alexis Leger and was born in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. His great-grandfather, a solicitor, had settled in Guadeloupe in 1815. His grandfather and father were also solicitors; his father was also a member of the City Council. The Leger family owned two plantations, one of coffee (La Joséphine) and the other of sugar (Bois-Debout).
This three-level municipal museum occupies an outstanding example of 19th-century colonial architecture and is dedicated to the renowned poet and Nobel laureate Alexis Leger (1887–1975), better known by his nom de plume Saint-John Perse, who spent his childhood in Guadeloupe. The house offers a glimpse of a period Creole home and displays on Perse’s life and work.
In 1897, Hégésippe Légitimus, the first native Guadeloupan elected president of the Guadeloupe General Council, took office with a vindictive agenda towards colonists. The Leger family returned to metropolitan France in 1899 and settled in Pau. The young Alexis felt like an expatriate and spent much of his time hiking, fencing, riding horses and sailing in the Atlantic. He passed the baccalauréat with honours and began studying law at the University of Bordeaux. When his father died in 1907, the resulting strain on his family’s finances led Leger to temporarily interrupt his studies, but he eventually completed his degree in 1910.
In 1904, he met the poet Francis Jammes at Orthez, who became a dear friend. He frequented cultural clubs, and met Paul Claudel, Odilon Redon, Valery Larbaud and André Gide.He wrote short poems inspired by the story of Robinson Crusoe (Images à Crusoe) and undertook a translation of Pindar. He published his first book of poetry, Éloges, in 1911.
Adult 2.50 Euros
Child 1.50 Euros
Visit the Collection and literary exhibitions in tribute to the Nobel Prize Alexis Léger said Saint John Perse and different thematic exhibitions.