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Xavier de Maistre
M. le. ch. X.o.a.s.s.d.M.S.
A pseudonym like M. le. ch. X.o.a.s.s.d.M.S. must surely mean something! It does. The initials stand for ‘Monsieur le chevalier Xavier, officier ancien sur sevice de sa Majesté Sardinienne’ [Sir Knight Xavier, former officer in the service His Sardinian Majesty], the cumbersome yet rather impressive name chosen by the French novelist Xavier de Maistre (1763–1852) for his ‘Voyage Autour de Ma Chambre’ [Journey Round My Room] (1794). This was no ordinary journey round no ordinary room, since at the time he was temporarily imprisoned in his quarters in Turin when in the service of the Piedmontese army. The unusual book contains the message that it is not our surroundings that make us happy, but that happiness is something we can find within ourselves.
Room, A. (1981), ‘Name Stories’, Naming Names, p.122