Mon Cher Martin

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This 9 x 15 cm paper card stereoview from Série 27 was published by Jean Agélou and contains a handwritten message on the back of the card. The writer is unknown, but it looks like it concerns a French soldier who wrote during the First World War a melancholic message from his encampment in Montferrat to a family member or friend with the name Martin. Angelou’s erotic images were cherished by the French soldiers, and the French army tolerated the images to boost the morale of the soldiers1.

I have translated parts of the message. If there are any French readers of this post who can make a better translation, or translate the missing parts, please let me know.

Montferrat, 19 October 1916

My dear Martin,

I discovered this card in my papers and I am sending it to you in the hope that it will cheer you up for a moment. I think you don’t despise these kind of intimate images, perhaps it will remind you of happy moments from before the war. Or was it the time of madness and carelessness?

Now I mourn my dead illusions and I only have memories. We have terrible weather in Montferrat. Since yesterday morning it has been raining. I’m also not feeling well and suffer from violent abdominal pains. I’m currently a man in a bad mood.

Farewell my dear Martin.


  1. Bourdon, C. and Agélou, J.B. (2006) Jean Agélou: de l’académisme à la photographie de charme, p. 45. ↩︎