No Ordinary House: Anais Nin’s 110th Birthday

Anaïs Nin was born 110 years ago on Feb. 21, 1903 at Neuilly-sur-Seine in what was then a newly built luxurious building at 7 rue du Général Henrion Bertier, which still stands today. The house, and the one next door, an identical building, were both built in 1895.

The city of Neuilly was kind enough to send along some specs for the house.

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The specs roughly state that the houses were built parallel to each other and perpendicular to the street, with basements and four floors and a courtyard. The building materials consist of limestone, stone and slate. The front of the house has covered gables, and the roofs are made of long sections. The rear of the house is broken into sections with uncovered gables. There is a spiral staircase which is suspended, and a décor which consists of sculpture.

This was no ordinary house, and this was no ordinary neighborhood. It would perhaps be the most luxurious place little Anaïs ever occupied. The street view is below:


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Alas, the family would not remain long in Neuilly, since Joaquin Nin was a composer and pianist who traveled much of Europe on concert tours. They would go to Havana, Cuba, where 2 year old Anaïs contracted typhoid fever. She became very ill, losing weight and her hair, drawing taunts from her father as an “ugly duckling,” something that would scar Anaïs for life.

After Havana, the Nins settled in a cheaper house in St-Cloud, near Paris, one of many places to which they would relocate, followed by Berlin and Brussels.

To learn more about the Neuilly house, click here.

To see more posts on Anaïs Nin’s birthday, including her family heritage, click here.

To celebrate Anaïs’s 110th, get Volume 10 of A Café in Space, which contains excerpts from her unpublished diary. It is available in both print and digital formats.

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