The Dreyfus family

Ravel first came into contact with the Dreyfus family through Roland-Manuel, who became his pupil (and his future biographer). He became close to Roland-Manuel's mother, Mme Fernand Dreyfus, during and after the War, when she became virtually his adoptive mother (his "Marraine de guerre"): he wrote some of his most personal letters to her about his wartime experiences (see Ravel [1986]; there are 55 surviving letters to Mme Dreyfus written, sometimes daily, during Ravel's time at the front between March and October 1916). After his demobilisation and the death of his own mother, he recuperated at the Dreyfus family home at Lyons-la-Forêt near Rouen.

Jean Dreyfus was a stepson of Mme Dreyfus by her second marriage (her first husband Paul Lévy had died around 1905) and he was killed in service during the War (late 1916 or 1917). Ravel dedicated to his memory the Menuet in Le tombeau de Couperin.

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