Lipstick traces 030
*Rue du Cherche-Midi has had many names** over the years. The powers that be settled on the current name in 1832. The name may come from a sundial (un cadran solaire***) or a picture of a sundial somewhere along the street. Another origin story is that the street takes its name from eighteenth century street urchins roaming the street at noon begging for food from bourgeois households.
Here are just a few of the notable personages to have lived along rue du Cherche–Midi (or what would become rue du Cherche–Midi):
#18 Marcelle Tinayre, née Marguerite Suzanne Marcelle Chasteau (1870 – 948), feminist writer best known for La Rebelle (1921). In 1908 Mme Tinayre refused the Légion d’honneur saying that with the ribbon around her neck she’d look like a cantinière (camp cook).
#21 René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec (1781 – 1826), physician, inventor of the stethoscope (1816).
#44 Victoe Hugo (1802 – 1885) grew up at was then 2, rue des Vieilles-Tuileries.
#47 Paul Lafargue (1842-1911), political activist, writer, translator, best known for Le Droit à la pareses/The Right To Be Lazy (1880). Laura Lafargue, née Laura Marx (1845-1911), political activist, writer, translator, daughter of Karl Marx. The two committed suicide in 1911.
#70 Eugène Dabit author of L’Hôtel du Nord (1929).
#76 Jules Sandeau (1811 – 1883), novelist, dramaturge, ex-lover of George Sand****. The two, Jules Sandeau and George Sand, wrote the novel Rose et Blanche (1831) under the name Jules Sand.
**Some of the street’s former names:
Chemin de Vaugirard (1388)
Chemin de la Croix-de Vaugirard (1447)
Chemin de la Tuilerie (1510)
Chemin de la Vieille-Tuilerie /Chemin de la Pointe (1529)
Rue des Vieilles-Tuileries /Rue de Cherche-Midi (1595)
Rue Chasse-Midy/Rue du Petit-Vaugirard (1628)
***I like Wikipedea’s definition: “Un cadran solaire est un instrument silencieux, et immobile qui indique le temps solaire par le déplacement de l’ombre d’un objet de forme variable…sur une surface…”
A sundial is a silent and immobile instrument that indicates solar time by the shifting shadow of an object of variable form over a surface.
****George Sand, pseudonym of Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin, later Baroness Dudevant (1804 – 1876), novelist, dramaturge, journalist, critic.