Colette was a woman who lived her life the way she wanted to at a time when this was considered a scandal. However, she was the first female member of the Goncourt Academy. Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette also became president of the aforementioned academy.
Colette’s life was scandalous, but it was in France that she received the highest honors
She received the Legion of Honor in France and received a state funeral after her death. You knew her as Colette. However, her real name was Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. It was the pride of French literature.
He married very young and was divorced twice. That is why the Church never paid homage to him. Admired by many and hated by others, she openly displayed her bisexuality, kissed women in public, and had her 17-year-old stepson as a lover.
Details of her work as a writer
Colette came to Paris from Burgundy at the age of 17. She was married to Henry Gauthier-Villars, nicknamed Willy. He was 14 years older than her and a die-hard womanizer. Willy was a journalist and critic, mediocre as a writer, he signed works by other authors with his name. He met Colette and felt that she was a good writer.
Then he asked him to write a story about his childhood in Burgundy. Soon she gave him a 650-page manuscript. It was one of his most famous works, “Claudine in School”. The book was about a precocious schoolgirl who was scandalous for the time and became a resounding success.
When the second part “Claudine in Paris” and the third part “Claudine is married” were published, the commercial success led to a musical. In this musical, Polaire played the lead role. This variety actress was Willy’s lover. To promote the play, Colette and Polaire, disguised as school girls, went through every party in Parisian society.
His fourth book is the first that he signs with his name alone, “Claudine’s Refuge”, in which he tells of his marital separation. The story goes that she and her husband had love affairs with the same woman. A wealthy American heiress named Georgie Raoul.
Move on to a life of scandals and successes
Colette later began a love affair with Mathilde de Morny, the Marquiseur of Belbeuf, whom they called Missy. They started working in cabaret seven days a week and eating at train stations. Missy and Colette wanted to save money to buy a modest house for the two of them. They bought a house in Saint Coulomb and there he wrote The Tramp and The Tendrils of the Vine.
After separating from Missy, he married Henry de Jouvenel, editor of the daily Le Matin, with whom he had a daughter. He never cared about the girl raised by babysitters. After eleven years of marriage while her husband was covering the war, 40-year-old Colette has a hot affair with her 17-year-old stepson Bertrand de Jouvenel.
It was at this time that he was writing the novel Chery, which tells of the romance of a mature woman in the arms of a young lover. It was a great sales success. They divorced a second time shortly afterwards. She married Maurice Goudeket, who was a much younger businessman than she was.
In 1944 he wrote his most famous work Gigi. They took her to the cinema and her protagonist was Leslie Caron. It won 9 Academy Awards from the Hollywood Academy. He died in 1954 at the age of 81. France gave him a funeral with the same pomp as a statesman.