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Saxon, Lyle Chambers (1891-1946)  
page: 1  2  

Certainly, it was with a knowing wink and a nudge that Saxon was lampooned in Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles (1926), a spoof concocted by Spratling and Faulkner. The caricature Spratling drew of Saxon has him sprawled on an elaborately embroidered pillow reading Lytton Strachey's Eminent Victorians. Faulkner's caption below reads "The Mauve Decade in St. Peter Street."

Saxon is his most unguarded in letters he exchanged with his friend artist Weeks Hall, master of Shadows on the Teche, his ancestral family home on Bayou Teche in southwestern Louisiana. Saxon was having characteristic fun as he privately wrote, "As for the miasmas rising from the Teche, I cannot bring myself to think that the effluvia does aught stir indiscreet thoughts, and, alas, perhaps, indiscreet actions as well. I remember in my own case, on certain summer evenings . . . but why speak of our gaudy youth, dear Coz, as we approach Life's Sunset?"

Lyle Saxon's place in history may not be upon the highest of literary pedestals, but a man who led the architectural preservation of the French Quarter and attracted a coterie of talented writers and artists to it; who established the Quarter in the public mind as a place of abiding romance; who encouraged and championed both William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams--two of the greatest writers of the century; who collected and published a priceless trove of Louisiana folklore; and who accomplished all these things with charm and easy grace, arriving at the end of his life's journey a man "with no enemies," is certainly an important figure in American gay culture of the twentieth century.

Saxon died in Baptist Hospital in his beloved adopted city on April 9, 1946 at 9:16 p.m. As he requested, his father was not contacted. He was buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Baton Rouge next to his mother and grandfather.

Roberts Batson

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arts >> Barthé, James Richmond

A popular African-American sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance, James Richmond Barthé used his art as a means of working out internal conflicts related to race and sexuality.

literature >> Strachey, Lytton

The English biographer and essayist Lytton Strachey spoke openly of his homosexuality to his Bloomsbury friends, but his openly gay works were published only after his death.

literature >> Williams, Tennessee

Conflicted over his own sexuality, Tennessee Williams wrote directly about homosexuality only in his short stories, his poetry, and his late plays.


Asbury, Herbert. The French Quarter. New York: Knopf, 1936.

Leverich, Lyle. Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams. New York: Crown, 1995.

Saxon, Lyle. Children of Strangers. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1937.

__________, Edward Dreyer, Robert Tallant, eds. Gumbo Ya-Ya. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1945.

__________. The Friends of Joe Gilmore. Edward Dreyer, ed. New York: Hastings House, 1948.

Spratling, William. File on Spratling: An Autobiography. Boston: Little Brown, 1967.

_________ and William Faulkner. Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles: A Gallery of Contemporary New Orleans. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1966.

Tallant, Robert. The Romantic New Orleanians. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1950.

Thomas, James W. Lyle Saxon: A Critical Biography. Birmingham: Summa Publications, 1991.

Williams, Blanche Colton, ed. O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1926. Garden City: Doubleday, Page, 1927.


    Citation Information
    Author: Batson, Roberts  
    Entry Title: Saxon, Lyle Chambers  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2003  
    Date Last Updated January 19, 2005  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2003, glbtq, inc.  


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