Pierre Loti, Julien Viaud of his real name, born in Rochefort on January 14th, 1850, was an officer of the national navy, the big traveler and especially a recognized novelist.
At 20 years old, having been received at the naval school in Paris, he takes the sea as first class aspirant. He will not stop crossing the seas of the globe and it is in November, 1871 that he embarked of Valparaiso aboard the ship "The Flora", bound to Tahiti. Received by queen Pomare IV, she will rename him "Loti", nickname which he will give afterward to the main character of his book "The marriage of Loti", before making his writer's name. Besides his writing describing the society and the exuberant nature of this period in Tahiti, He did several precious drawings of islands of Tahiti and Moorea. During his passage in Polynesia, he will visit several islands of the Polynesia, from Marquesas to the Leeward Islands, before leaving two months later. "The marriage of Loti", writen in 1879, from his travel diary, revive the myth of the paradise of the Southen Seas islans, which he describes in these words: "Hours, days, months, flew away in this country otherwise than anywhere else; the time passed by without trace, in the monotony of a eternal summer. It seemed that we are in an atmosphere of peace and immobility, where the agitations of the world did not exist any more." Elected to the French Academy in 1891, he left the navy in 1910.
He never saw again Tahiti and died in Hendaye at the age 73 years old.
The Polynesian Post office wishes to pay him tribute through this stamp, that he illustrated, of the waterfall of Fautaua, a well known place of Tahiti, witness of his passage, where is now a statue in his effigy.
Text: La Poste
sheet effects: sheets of 10 stamps (perforated) and in souvenirsheet (imperforated)