Secrets of the Flesh.
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette was the twentieth century's first modern woman. She arrived in the salons of Paris around 1900 as the provincial child bride of a notorious rake and brilliant literary impresario, Willy, who signed her first novels - the 'Claudines' - and claimed them as his own. They invented the erotically reckless teenage girl as we know her, becoming the greatest French bestsellers of their, and probably all, time.
When this tumultuous marriage ended, Colette went off with a high-born woman lover, the virile Marquise de Belboeuf, embarked on a flamboyant stage career and became a celebrity of the lesbian demimonde. While building a reputation for hugely popular fiction, drama, memoir, criticism and scandal, Colette deserted Lesbos to marry Baron Henry de Jouvenel, one of Paris's most influential (and sexually charismatic) political journalists.
She was the first woman to report from the front lines of World War I, she edited the literary pages of a major daily, and at forty, had her only (much neglected) child. A 1935 readers' poll named Colette the greatest living master of French prose.
Colette was a paradox of ferocity and seductiveness, of impure appetites and Olympian vitality, of sexual dissidence and social conservatism. Her art was never more pristine than in her last, anguished years, when she charmed the world with 'Gigi'.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 01 / 2000
- 161 x 236mm