"The death of Zola threatens to disturb the superficial peace due to the armistice" (on October 5, 1902, Sully Prudhomme reacts to the death of the writer who had disappeared a week earlier). This correspondence, which appears to be unpublished, spans from 1900 to 1905. Sully Prudhomme reveals a great affection for his correspondent.
The topics discussed are numerous, ranging from current events of the time, the health of the two men, their families, the writer's establishment in his residence in Châtenay-Malabry, etc. In 1864, when his very first collection of poems, Espérances, was published by Jules Tardieu, Lafenestre dedicated the poem Extase (pages 123-126) to him, and the two friends embarked on an artistic discovery trip to Italy together (as painting and sculpture were both their passions) between October 1866 and March 1867.
It was during this time that the strong friendship between them was formed, as evidenced by the unchanging term used by Sully to address Georges: "My dear little one". Later becoming the deputy curator of Paintings and Drawings at the Louvre Museum, then a professor at the École du Louvre and the Collège de France, and even the inspector of Fine Arts, Lafenestre maintained frequent contact with Sully, whom he shared his daily miseries with in letters that were difficult to read (his elegant handwriting has the particularity of being almost indecipherable).
Sully remained loyal to Georges Lafenestre even in his peaceful retreat at 22 Chemin des Princes in Châtenay Malabry, where, confined by illness, he stayed "in the countryside" between 1900 and his death on September 6, 1907, occupied with philosophy without financial worries, thanks to the significant income he had obtained from being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901.