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Jean Fort

A Brief Biography
Copyright © 2003 Sheryl Straight

Unfortunately, little seems to be known about Jean Fort.  We do know that he was the nephew of Pierre Fort, a Paris bookseller and publisher who was active from c.1896 until c.1905 (it appears Louis Chaubard took over the shop in 1911). Following his Uncle's footsteps, Fort began his own publishing career in c.1901, from the Paris address of 73 Faubourg Poissonniere.

Fort published under many different imprints; some openly published, some published clandestinely. From his Faubourg Poissonniere address in 1907 until c.1921 he primarily used the imprint 'Jean Fort' or 'J. Fort' but between 1910 - 1913 he also published a few books under the imprints, 'Bibliothèque des deux hémisphères' and 'Sweetgra's Quebec'. Betweem c.1921 and c.1925 Fort set up shop of 39 rue de Chabrol and then 12 rue de Chabrol, staying only a couple of years at each address during which he publishing a few books with the imprint 'Libraire du bon vieux temps'.

In c.1925 Fort moved again, this time setting up shop at 79 rue de Vaugirard where he remained until c.1939. From Vaugirard he began publishing under the imprints of 'Au Cabinet du Livre' and the better known imprint of 'Collection des Orties Blanches', a series of flagellation novels. While it seems the majority of Fort's earlier publications were unillustrated these flagellation books often contained explicit engravings by some of the top erotica illustrators of the time: Jim Black [Luc Lafnet], Louis Malteste, Herric [Herouard], and Martin Van Maele. Business must have been good.

The last books published by Fort were c.1939. Whether his disappearance was due to retirement or death is unknown.

Line drawing by Boris

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