James Harden-Hickey

James Harden-Hickey

James Harden-Hickey

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James Harden-Hickey (December 8, 1854 – February 9, 1898) was a Franco-American author, newspaper editor, duellist, adventurer and self-proclaimed Prince.

Early life

James Aloysius Harden was born in San Francisco, California on December 8, 1854. To avoid the violent city still in the madness of the gold rush, James' French mother took him to live in Paris, then an Empire under the rule of Napoleon III. The nephew of Napoleon I left his mark on James by making France a wild, flamboyant stage for ornate theatrical displays and public works, and mystifying ceremonies. As a child, James was fascinated with the French court and all of its glamor and pomp. Also, because of the lively brilliance of the live theater, he acquired a life-long liking of adventure. During boyhood he was taught in Belgium by the Jesuits and later studied law at the University of Leipzig. He entered the French military academy, Saint-Cyr, at 19. In 1875, he graduated with high marks.

Shortly thereafter, his father died. Three years later, Harden-Hickley married the Countess de Saint-Pery and fathered two children. By then he had mastered French, was accounted a master swordsman and began writing novels.

Literary career

On November 10, 1878, Harden-Hickey first published the newspaper Triboulet, named for a jester of King Louis XII, eight years after Napoleon's fall from power. Though popular, the strongly anti-republican stand of this paper involved Harden-Hickey in no fewer than a dozen duels,...
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