I am sending you a brief summary of some of the more memorable events in the Diaries. I realize that the one for May 1900 will interest you most and I am working on it. Arizona and the South-West sounds even more fascinating now from what you have told me.
BRIEF SUMMARIES OF EVENTS IN CASTILLON'S DIARIES, 1900,1901,1902,1903
1900Initiates divorce proceedings.
May 18 - visits Emma Calve at the Chateau de Cabrieres. From there they go to Rennes le Chateau. This of course is the interesting part for you.Not yet fully translated and transcribed.
July-August in Germany studying German Mysticism especially Tauler, Jacob Boehme, Rosicrucianism and the Illuminati. In Munich meets various like-minded people and also attends a meeting of a group calling itself The Society for Aryan Advancement but is put off by its obvious glorification of all things Teutonic and its covert anti-Semitism. This group is composed of well to do businessmen and army officers.
September - goes on trip to North Africa - Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauretania. Investigating Sufism. Travelling companion is a Frau Jennie Waltersdorf a wealthy woman from Munich married to a brewer who "neglects her." He certainly seems not to mind her going off with Castillon. They are dissuaded from visiting the interior of Morocco because of the state of unrest in the country they visit Tangier and Casablanca only. Instead they travel to Egypt where they visit various Mawlids (Sufi Festivals). This tour ends in November when he returns to France - no further mention of Frau Waltersdorf.
Semiramis seems to have vanished from his life also.
1901 Appears to have been a pretty humdrum year and entries somewhat slapdash. Does a lot of journalism - articles on religion, mysticism, music, art and so on.Writes three "erotic" pulps at the urgings of his publisher who says they sell like hot cakes to connoiseurs of the genre. No trips to exotic lands this year.
1902This is not a happy year for him. In March he receives disquieting news about his finances - he is no longer as wealthy as he thought - unwise investments (mainly in South American minerals)on the part of his broker in whose hands he seems to have unreservedly placed his fortune have reulted in heavy capital losses. Outwardly he seems quite stoical about it and reflects on the irony that his money was originally made in South America and that now it has been lost there.In July he hears through his notary that Elena is very ill - she has cancer. He is grief-stricken and visits her in Vaulx. She tells him that her English "fiancee" (the Hon. Selwyn) has given in to family pressures aand discontinued their relationship. This happened before her illness became apparent and he knows nothing of it. He arranges for her to be seen by an eminent specialist from Berlin (at that time a centre of excellence for cancer study and treatment) who informs Castillon that it is terminal. Castillon arranges for her to spend her last days at a clinic in Switzerland where she dies in November. He is with her. After her death he sells the villa in Vaulx and resides permanently in an apartment in Paris.
Confesses to feelings of deep depression and despair. Meets a Louisa Salomon, a lady of Russian origin who has studied the new psychoanalytic techniques in Vienna under Wilhelm Stekel a member of Sigmund Freud's inner circle. She puts him through a course of therapy with beneficial results. Salomon is a rich and emancipated woman (she is married to a certain Alois Andersson a German linguist proficient in Oriental languages then teaching at the Ottoman Imperial Military Academy in Constantinople but theirs is an "open marriage") who all her life has had a close relationship with artists, writers, musicians, philosophers a sort of intellectual groupie one could say although that would not do justice I think to lady's own intellectual capabilities.In May he is invited by her to take part in a tour of Russia together with R an upcoming poet,an Austrian living in Paris, E a French doctor and mage and C an English initiate of the Golden Dawn. They declare their interests - Salomon, sex and religion (especially the Khlysty and Skoptsy); R, meetings with Russian poets and artists and hopes to visit the aging Tolstoy (he is writing articles on the history of icon painting); E, shamanism, thaumaturgy;C, qabbalah. R the poet seems to have taken Salomon as his muse, she seems to be a mother figure to him.
Sadly there is no more diary terminates abruptly on the eve of their departure due to mutilation i.e. pages torn out.
From "Irmine"; "As for other names, I've not yet had chance to think about them, but I'll let you know if I come up with anything.
Edit - PS The poet R has got to be Rilke".
Can you guess who "C" might be?