"incomparable Charlus"
Robert - comte de Montesquiou-Fezensac by Boldini (1897)
Public DomainRobert - comte de Montesquiou-Fezensac by Boldini (1897) - Credit: Giovanni Boldini

Charlus is an aristocratic, decadent homosexual character in Marcel Proust's seven volume, semi-autobiographical novel In Search of Lost Time (also translated as Remembrance of Things Past).

His full name is Baron Palamède de Charlus, and he appears for the first time in the second volume, Within a Budding Grove (1919).

The character is said to be based on the French symbolist poet and art critic Robert, comte de Montesquiou-Fezensac (1855-1921).

In Search of Lost Time on Book Drum