The Proust Center-New York at Jefferson Market Library - New York City

How did Albert Boni, the owner of the Washington Square Bookshop in 1913, become the first to publish Proust’s ‘homosexual’ volume, “Cities of the Plain?”

Due to England's obscenity laws, the English publishing house of Chatto & Windus was unable to print Proust's translation of "Sodom and Gomorrah."  

Albert and Charles Boni Publishers, New York, published C. K. Scott Moncrieff’s first English translation of "Cities of the Plain," in 1927. 


Jean Findlay is the great-great-niece of C. K. Scott Moncrieff. Her debut work, ‘Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C.K. Scott Moncrieff: Soldier, Spy and Translator,’ was published by Chatto & Windus in 2015 and shortlisted for a 2016 Lambda Literary Award in New York.  Jean Findlay is the Founder and Head of Publishing at Scotland Street Press ( 

2019 PEN International Award

2019 British Book Awards Small Press of the Year Regional Finalist  

2018 Carnegie Medal Nomination 

2017 PEN Award

Born in Edinburgh, Jean studied Law and French at Edinburgh University, then Theatre in Kracow with Tadeusz Kantor. She ran a theatre company, writing and producing plays in Berlin, Bonn, Dublin, Rotterdam and the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

She has written for the Scotsman, Independent, Guardian and Time Out and lives in Scotland with her husband and three children. 


About  “Chasing Lost Time”

“C. K. Scott Moncrieff’s celebrated translation of Proust’s “À la recherche du temps perdu” was first published in 1922 and was a work which would exhaust and consume the translator, leading to his early death at the age of just forty. Joseph Conrad told him, ‘I was more interested and fascinated by your rendering than by Proust’s creation’: some literary figures even felt it was an improvement on the original.

“From the outside an enigma, Scott Moncrieff left a trail of writings that describe a man expert at living a paradoxical life: fervent Catholic convert and homosexual, gregarious party-goer and deeply lonely, interwar spy in Mussolini’s Italy and public man of letters – a man for whom honour was the most abiding principle. He was a decorated war hero, and his letters home are an unusually light take on day-to-day life on the front. Described as ‘offensively brave’, he was severely injured in 1917 and, convalescing in London, became a lynchpin of literary society – friends with Robert Graves and Noel Coward, enemies with Siegfried Sassoon and in love with Wilfred Owen.

“Written by Scott Moncrieff’s great-great-niece, Jean Findlay, with exclusive access to the family archive, ‘Chasing Lost Time’ is a portrait of a man hurled into war, through an era when the world was changing fast and forever, who brought us the greatest epic of time and memory that has ever been written.”

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Last modified on Tuesday, 26 November 2019 06:14