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Biography of Colette (1873-1954)

The major steps

  • Her childhood in Saint-Sauveur (1873-1891)
  • Time of learning (1893-1905)
  • Colette Willy, an artist of music hall (1906-1913)
  • The dark years (1914-1918)
  • The great Colette (1920-1940)
  • From the nightmare to the glory (1940-1954)

Her childhood in Saint-Sauveur (1873-1891)

1873
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette was born on January 28, 1873 in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye. She was the daughter of Sidonie Landoy, widow Robineau-Duclos, and of the Captain Colette, war-disabled.
Colette had a half-sister, Juliette, a half-brother, Achille and a brother, Léo. Colette mentioned them in her work and primarily in La Maison de Claudine (Claudine’s House) and Sido.

1885

Colette passed her school certificate in Saint-Sauveur

1889
Colette passed her elementary certificate.

1891

The Captain Colette, Sido and Colette moved in Châtillon-Coligny where Achille was doctor.




The time of learning (1893-1905)

1893
On May 15, 1893 Colette married Henry Gauthier-Villars, named Willy, in Châtillon-Coligny. The young couple moved in Paris, 55 quai des Grands Augustins above the Gauthier-Villars bookshop.

June
They moved in 28 rue Jacob. Thanks to her husband, she met writers, journalists, painters, politicians: Anatole France, Marcel Proust, Marcel Schwob, Gabriel Fauré, Vincent d'Indy...

1895
Beginning of her writings.

1900
Publication of Claudine à l’école (Claudine at school) under the signature of Willy.

1905
Colette began mime course with George Wague. She met Mathilde de Morny, marquise de Belbeuf, named Missy.
The captain Colette died in Châtillon-Coligny.

Colette Willy, an artist of music hall (1906-1913)

1906
Colette made her debut in L’Amour, le Désir et la Chimère.
She separated from Willy and moved in 44 rue de Villejust but she was most often at the home of Missy.

1907
She appeared in the Moulin Rouge with Missy in Rêve d’Egypte.

1911

Since 1910, Colette began to work with a newspaper Le Matin and got closer to Henry de Jouvenel, one of its editors. During the summer, she ended her relationship with Missy.

1912
Sido died in Châtillon-Coligny.
Colette married Henry de Jouvenel.

The dark years (1914-1918)

1913
The only child of Colette was born: her daughter, Colette de Jouvenel.

1917
Publication of Les Heures Longues, her book of war chronics.

The great Colette (1920-1940)

1920
Colette was appointed Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.

1921
Chéri was adapted for the theatre. Colette played several times the role of Léa.

1923
Separation from Colette and Henry de Jouvenel.

1925
Colette met Maurice Goudeket.
In April, the divorce with Henry de Jouvenel was granted.

1928
Colette was named officier de la Légion d’honneur.

1931
On January, Willy died.

1935
She married Maurice de Goudeket.

1936
Colette was named commandeur de la Légion d’honneur.

1938
Colette moved in the Royal Palace.

1939
Declaration of war.

From the nightmare to the glory (1940-1954)

February, 1941
Maurice Goudeket, Jew (by his father), was arrested by the Germans. Thanks to the steps of Colette, he was freed on December, 1942.

1945
Colette was elected to the Académie Goncourt.


1953
Colette celebrated her 80th birthday.
She was named grand officier de la Légion d’honneur.

1954

On August 3, 1954 Colette died.

Translation: Marina Gouot

 
© 2011 musée Colette - site réalisé par Créacteurs Studio - infos légales.