Wednesday, 21 May 2014

21 May in Literature

21 May 1910 French author Colette published her novel The Vagabond in serial form.

At this time she was already a successful writer with a series about a girl named Claudine. From the beginning she published her novels under the name "Willy" which was the pen name of her husband, Henri Gauthier-Villars. During her marriage she grew from a provincial country girl to a sophisticated Parisienne. She took theatre lessons and began acting. The couple divorced in 1910 and the Vagabond series was partly based on the failed marriage.

After the divorce, she supported herself a a music-hall actress. She continued writing and published both essays and articles. She wrote for the newspaper Le Matin and married its editor Henry de Jouvenel, in 1912. The couple divorced in 1924 and later she married a much younger man, Maurice Goudeket. She continued writing and won many awards and honours. Her novel Gigi (1944) was adapted for stage and screen, and, it seems, included one of her rare happy endings! Colette died in Paris in 1954.

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