en Puisaye, Burgundy, the rural setting where many of her novels take place.
When she was 20, she was forced to ghostwrite several books for her first
husband, Henri Gauthier-Villars. A famous story says he would lock Colette
in her room until she had written enough pages. After divorce in 1906
ColetteColette mimed copulation in a sketch and caused a riot at the Moulin
Rouge. She had a protector, a woman known as Missy, who was the niece of
Napoleon III, the Marquise de Belboeuf, and managed her public image, as
writer, actress, and lesbian. From 1910 to 1922, she worked as a
correspondent for the newspaper
. It was during this time that she
gained her reputation as a writer. Her works include
The Last of Cheri
(1944). In the 1930s
ColetteColette died on August 3, 1954 in Paris and was accorded a state
funeral despite the refusal of Catholic rites on the grounds that she had been
divorced. Her funeral was attended by thousands of mourners.
became music hall performer at such places as La Chatte Amoureuse and
L'Oiseau de Nuit. Once was made a member of the Belgian Royal Academy.
She was the first woman to be admitted to the prestigious Goncourt
Academy. In 1953 she became a grand officer of the Legion of Honour.
Sidonie-Cabrielle Colette (January 28, 1873 – August 3, 1954)
French novelist, belonging, in time, to the generation of such authors as Marcel Proust,
Paul Valéry, André Gide, and Paul Claudel. Colette's career spanned from her early 20s
to her mid-70s. Her main themes were joys and pains of love, and female sexuality in the
male-dominated world. All her works are more or less autobiographical but Colette
intentionally blurred the boundaries between fiction and fact. She wrote over 50 novels
and scores of short stories.
"By means of an image we are often able to hold on to our lost belongings. But it is the
desperateness of losing which picks the flowers of memory, binds the bouquet." (Mes
Sidonie-Cabrielle Colette was born in the Burgundian village of Saint-Sauveur-en
Puisaye. She was the daughter of a retired army captain, Jules-Joseph Colette. He had lost
a leg in the Italian campaign and worked as a taxcollector with local political aspirations.
Colette's mother, Adele Eugenie Sidonie Landoy, known as 'Sidonie' or 'Sido', was an
unconventional character, a down-to-earth personality, devoted to her pets, books, and
garden. Colette spent a happy childhood in rural surrounding, the scene of her many
novels. At the age of 20 Colette married the writer and music critic Henri Gauthier-
Villars, ('Monsieur Willy'); he was 15 years her senior. Colette's biographers' have
labelled her first husband as a literary charlatan and degenerate.
Encouraged to start a career as a writer Colette published in short period four