Robert Edward Hart Memorial Museum

Historical Background

The Robert Edward Hart Memorial Museum is located in the newly renovated coral bungalow by the seashore at Souillac. It is at this place that the Mauritian poet spent the last years of his life.
Robert Edward Hart was born in Port Louis on 17 August 1891. He was the Curator/Librarian of the Mauritius Institute in Port Louis. Robert Edward Hart moved to Souillac when he retired in 1941. When his first house was destroyed in a cyclone, his friends contributed to erect a bungalow in coral stones (also known as La Nef). After the death of Robert Edward Hart in 1954, the premises were purchased by the Government in 1963, to set up a museum to perpetuate the memory of the great poet. The building was repaired and the museum was opened to the public on 6 November 1967. The museum was renovated completely and reopened on 17 August 2003 on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Robert Edward Hart.
Robert Edward Hart wrote his first poems/verses at the age of 15. In 1912, he Lâ€ââ published Pages mélancholiques and dâ€â⠀žÂ¢Ile €žÂ¢Or. After his return from Madagascar in 1917, he published Sensations de route, La vie harmonieuse, Les voix intimes and Sur Lâ€ââ la syrinx. He founded the magazine Aprës Midi of which he was the Editor-in-Chief. A few months later, in 1923, he succeeded his father as Curator/Librarian at the Mauritius Institute. It was from this time that his literary activities developed further to enrich the Mauritian literature. In 1937, he published under the title Poëmes solaires a selection of his poems for which he was awarded the Prix Edgar Poe by Maison de Poësie de France. Robert Edward Hart was greatly influenced by the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, and wrote Poêmes véridiques. He wrote many articles and chronicles for journals and magazines. Robert Edward Hart was honoured with the dâ€ââ titles of Chevalier de la Légion €žÂ¢Honneur and Officer of the British Empire by France and England respectively. Robert Edward Hart had great passion for paintings and music and he played the violin. He also studied psychiatry. Robert Edward Hart died on 6 November 1954. He was buried at the Souillac Cemetery which can be seen from the museum.
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