Raymond Radiguet (1903–1923) was the eldest of seven children born to a poor cartoonist. He left school at fifteen and was soon contributing articles to newspapers and journals in Paris, where he became the protégé and lover of Jean Cocteau. Radiguet published poems, criticism, and a play, The Pelican,
as well as a highly successful novel, The Devil in the Flesh,
while leading a wild and increasingly self-destructive life. He died of typhoid, contracted from eating oysters. The manuscript of his second novel, Count d’Orgel’s Ball
, was prepared for posthumous publication by Cocteau.