This was a Christmas present – I have been learning French in part because I want to be able to read french novels. This is a beautiful book – thick pages and lovely illustrations. I have read the Claudine novels but nothing else and knew very little of Colette’s life.
Here is the blurb …
A lavishly illustrated biography of the lively and often controversial life of Colette, the French writer, artist, and intellectual. Colette’s France is a beautifully illustrated biography of French writer Colette, a key figure in French radical, artistic, and intellectual life in the early twentieth century. Told through the locations in France where she lived, worked, and loved, her lively life story moves along through her many different relationships and homes—from Burgundy to Paris to Brittany to St. Tropez and more—revealing her deep and personal love of France and the natural world. Colette’s life and writing spans a special time in French literary history, the renowned artistic period of Belle Époque Paris. Her companions were the great French writers, artists, actors, and intellectuals, and her life plays out against a backdrop of great creativity and style, liberation and rebellion. Colette wrote about love and experienced love in the most independent, sometimes outrageous, sense—numerous lovers, several marriages, a lesbian affair, and an affair with her seventeen-year-old stepson. Told through the authoritative voice of Jane Gilmour and complimented by stunning, rarely seen photographs and illustrations, Colette’s France brings Colette’s story to life and evokes the style and fashion of the times.
This book was quite an eye opener – she wrote this to her ten year old daughter…
‘I am waiting for something of your father and your mother to appear in you. And I find that I am waiting a long time. Do what you can so that this expectation is no longer disappointed. […] We didn’t bring you into this world to be just an ordinary little girls, to be mediocre’
I think this is a good first biography of Colette – it is quite short and not packed with information, so if you already know a bit you might know all of this. However, it is beautiful and might be worth a look just for the illustrations.