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Maurice TalvandeCount de Mauny Talvande self styled— was a French-born naturalised British landscaper, furniture-maker, and self-inventor, who is best known as the owner and recreator of Taprobane Islandin Sri Lanka. He attended a Jesuit-run school in CanterburyEngland. In June de Mauny married Lady Mary Byng, daughter of the 4th Earl of Straffordand a maid of honour to Queen Victoriawhom he may have met through her brother who had attended his school. There was talk that Lady Mary married de Mauny, who had no social position or fortune, due to her hostility to her father's second marriage to a wealthy American divorcee, Mrs Cora Colgate.
Shortly prior to his marriage, de Mauny established a small boarding school for teenage boys from upper-class English families seeking to polish their French. It was visited by Lord Lorneand attended by the 2nd Duke of Westminster as a year-old. There were persistent rumours of sexual advances made to the pupils by de Mauny who, confronted by the Duke, admitted he was homosexual. In their daughter Alexandra Mary was born. It was around this time that de Mauny adopted the title of count.
His mother provided the couple with a small allowance, reportedly "almost starving herself for his sake", and de Mauny falsely claimed he would inherit a large fortune on her death, which enabled the couple to obtain credit. Inthe Earl of Strafford was decapitated by a train. While Sex contacts Azay-le-Rideau entailed estate passed to the 5th Earl, he had willed the entire remainder of his wealth to his two daughters.
They shared the 17, francs that came from its sale.
With the money, de Mauny separated from his wife for a year. Nevertheless, by he was forced to declare bankruptcy. In de Mauny visited Ceylon for the first time, possibly as the guest of tea magnate Sir Thomas Lipton. Further visits followed, and by he was residing in Colombo with his now year-old son Victor. Like many others, the Great War had left de Mauny severely dispirited. He wrote a book of reflections The Peace of Sufferingand later wrote: "The war had taken everything from me.
The whole of my being, both physical and moral, had lost its object in life.
Paralysed, inert, it was incapable of effort because I had lost even the desire Sex contacts Azay-le-Rideau effort. I was flickering out a living death, a life worse than death, because it no longer had the confidence of hope…. It is to the East that I owe the awakening of the desire of effort; it is to my gardens of Taprobane that I owe the strength that has enabled me to transform the desire of effort into the reality of action, thanks to the peace and happiness which they have given me.
It was only after a long search for an earthly paradise that around  de Mauny sighted "Galduwa" — "Rock Island" in Sinhalese,  an islet in Weligama Bay, Ceylon that was an unkempt wilderness used by locals as a dumping ground for cobras.
It was purchased by de Mauny for Rs. He constructed a magnificent and picturesque villa that offered degree views of the sea, and replanted the island into his vision of a private Eden the snakes, however, were removed. The villa, its furniture and garden were all deed by de Mauny to be in perfect harmony. Construction on the villa began in It featured a large domed octagonal central hall, called the Hall of the Lotus, which was Sex contacts Azay-le-Rideau with eight panels of inlaid wood dyed a dull gold and eau de Niland bearing a de of lotus buds and flowers.
At the centre of the Hall was a large octagonal teak table carved with lotus leaves. De Mauny lived on the Island with a village boy, Raman, who helped tend the gardens and Gomez, his 'dressing boy'. One journalist visitor wrote: "The man himself, the occupant of this dream home, remains to its visitors rather a mystery. They sum him up according to their own values in life.
There are those who describe him as 'the made French Count who lives alone on his God-forsaken rock…Tiberius on Capri'.
Others regard him with unconcealed envy and secret admiration for having so far left the world behind to gain the peace they sense in his home. I am mad of course if to shape one's own life, to live it and love it is madness.
De Sex contacts Azay-le-Rideau went on to establish a furniture manufacturing business 'Weligama Local Industries', and collaborated with a Hungarian interior decorator Mlle Louie Borgia, to make over the homes of the wealthy in Colombo. However, de Mauny went on to become a successful landscape and gardening deer for many prominent homes in Colombo, authoring, as "Count de Mauny", The Gardens of Tapobane dedicated to the Duchess of Sutherland and Gardening in Ceylon. Suffering from angina pectoris, de Mauny died of a heart attack in November Victor sold Taprobane Island in for Rs.
Both left no issue. The author Robin Maughamwho visited the Island as a young man, and in the mids, considered the unique beauty and harmony of the villa had become compromised after de Mauny's death by partitioning and the loss of his furniture and fittings, and that the area itself had been despoiled by the construction of a new road along the mainland beach. French-born British landscaper, furniture maker, and inventor — ISBN Taprobane Island.
Retrieved 4 August Archived from the original on Retrieved Retrieved 6 January The New York Times. ISSN Tuttle Publishing.
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