Rachilde was the pen name and preferred identity of novelist and playwright Marguerite Vallette-Eymery (February 11, 1860 – April 4, 1953). Born near Périgueux, Dordogne, Aquitaine, France during the Second French Empire, Rachilde went on to become a symbolist author and the most prominent woman in literature associated with the Decadent Movement of fin de siècle France.
A diverse and challenging author, Rachilde’s most famous work includes the darkly erotic novels Monsieur Vénus (1884), La Marquise de Sade (1887), and La Jongleuse (1900). She also wrote a 1928 monograph on gender identity, Pourquoi je ne suis pas féministe (“Why I am not a Feminist”). Her work was noted for being frank, fantastical, and always with a suggestion of autobiography underlying questions of gender, sexuality, and identity.