Posted on October 27, 2010


Escal-Vigor – titled A Strange Love in English – is an 1899 novel by the Belgian author Georges Eekhoud. Although from the Flemish part of Belgium, the novel was written in French, the third by Eekhoud, who had gained a reputation for his earthy scenes of daily life. With Escal-Vigor, Eekhoud came out of the closet, so to speak, with the frank portrayal of a homosexual relationship. A scandal ensued following publication, and Eekhoud was sued but eventually acquitted.

The story concerns the wealthy Count Henry de Kehlmark (Escal-Vigor is the name of his castle), the outcast young shepherd Guidon Govaertz and the pregnant Blandine. The novel is in three parts, the first part detailing the relationship of the Count and Guidon, the second part the travails of Blandine and the third part ends in the deaths of all three, sacrificed because of the love between the Count and Guidon.

Escal-Vigor is available in French at Project Gutenberg, here, and in the English translation A Strange Love on Google books, here.