Poet and publisher Adrienne Monnier opened her store, La Maison des Amis des Livres, in 1915, making her one of the only women in the country to set up her own bookshop. This rather unique position drew many women seeking advice on similar endeavours. One such lady was Sylvia Beach, and what followed was not only Shakespeare and Company, but a long-standing love affair between the two.
French poet and essayist Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947), a close friend of both Adrienne and Sylvia, had his first works in print by the age of nineteen. An opponent of the surrealist movement, Fargue aligned himself instead with symbolist poetry. He would feature in Sylvia's memoirs Shakespeare and Company, which were published in 1956.
Valery Larbaud (see 'Bookmark for page 21) was also closely connected to Beach and Monnier. One of the translators of Joyce's Ulysses, he lived at 71 rue du Cardinal Lemoine between 1919 and 1937 -- a stone's throw from the Hemingways' apartment at number 74 -- and loaned the property to Joyce in 1921 in an effort to help him finish the book.