Proust's Overcoat : The True Story of One Man's Passion for All Things Proust, Paperback

Proust's Overcoat : The True Story of One Man's Passion for All Things Proust Paperback

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


The story of the overcoat begins with a chance meeting - between an obsessive bibliophile, Jacques Guerin, the head of a French perfume house, and his physician, Dr Robert Proust, brother of the late writer.

Glimpsing the possibility of adding to his collection, Guerin stumbles into a tense and tangled relationship with the novelist's family who, embarrassed by Proust's writings and his homosexuality, are in the process of destroying the mountain of notebooks, letters and manuscripts they had inherited.

Little by little, over decades, Guerin acquires Marcel's remaining personal effects, including - eventually - the relic he had come to covet more than any other: the moth-eaten otter-lined overcoat Proust had worn every day and used as a blanket every night while writing in bed.

Like the novelist's second skin, this coat was as close as Guerin could ever come to touching Proust himself: it was the jewel of his collection.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144 pages, Illustrations
  • Publisher: Granta Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: literary
  • ISBN: 9781846272721



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

An inspiring extended long article in book form about how a Parisian Society man a perfumer who runs a successful Perfumers, rescues Marcel Proust possessions for eternity; the struggle to in effect get his possessions and in a sense becoming an Archivist resulting in Marcel Prousts stuff without the famous overcoat becoming a Museum.

Review by

I honestly didn't think I'd enjoy this. I thought it looked like a nice quirky little read and decided it was a good way to kill an hour or so, but it turned out be much more interesting than I anticipated. Though the story of the man who owned Proust's coat is very interesting, it's all the little details of Proust and his family that really drew me in. I think I enjoyed this to the point where I am convinced I may actually attempt to read <I>In Search of Lost Time</I>. Some time this decade...

Also by Lorenza Foschini