Colette, the creator of Claudine, Chéri and Gigi, and one of France’s outstanding writers, had a long, varied and active life.
Born in Burgundy on 1873 she moved to Paris at the age of twenty with her husband the writer and critic Henry Gauthiers-Viller (Willy). Forcing Colette to write Willy published her novels in his name and the Claudine series became an instant success. In 1935 she married for the third time and lived with husband Maurice Goudeket until her death in 1954. Her writing runs to fifteen volumes, novels, portraits, essays, chroniques and a large body of autobiographical prose. She was the first woman President of the Academie Goncourt, and when she died she was given a state funeral and buried in Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris.