Cover image for Claudine à l'école
Claudine à l'école
Colette, 1873-1954.
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Publication Information:
Paris : A. Michel, 1988.
Physical Description:
253 pages ; 17 cm.
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FRENCH FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks Foreign Language

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Author Notes

Sidonie Gabrielle Claudine Colette was born in St.-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, France, on January 28, 1873. When she was 16 years old, Colette's family moved to Chatillon-Coliquy where she met and married the ambitious young novelist Henri Gauthier-Villars. Colette and her husband collaborated on a series of stories fashioned after Colette's escapades as a young girl in Burgundy. Under the pseudonym of "Willy," they produced the financially successful series of Claudine novels between 1900-1904. Best remembered for her 1944 novel Gigi, some of Colette's other books include The Vagabond, Cheri, and The Last of Cheri.

After divorcing in 1906, Colette supported herself in the music halls of Paris until she married writer Henri de Jouvenel in 1910. Continuing her work as a novelist, Colette also worked as a journalist, contributing to such magazines as Vogue and Le Matin. In 1945, Colette became the first, and only, woman ever elected to the Goncourt Academy.

Colette died on August 3, 1954. Colette was given a formal state funeral by the French government.

(Bowker Author Biography) Colette was a short-story writer, playwright, journalist, editor, actress, dramatic critic, fashion columnist, book reviewer, feature writer, and nurse. She received the greatest honor possible for a woman writer in France - the presiding chair in the Goncourt Academy. Her early "Claudine" novels (1900-1903) were published in collaboration with her first husband, the notorious "Willy," pseudonym of Henry Gauthier-Villers. During her varied, active life, reflected in her novels, she became known for her subtle psychological insight and masterly style. The "Claudine" series is taken from her youth, The Vagabond (1911) from her days as a music-hall dancer, and Cheri (1920) is taken from an affair with a "dissolute" young man. Throughout her works, there runs an awareness of the obstacles faced by women of all ages as they seek to define their identities and find their freedom. A Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, she was accorded a formal state funeral and in 1967 Paris named a street in her honor.

(Bowker Author Biography)