Author(s): Judith Thurman
They invented the erotically reckless teenage girl as we know her, and became the greatest French bestsellers of all time. When this tumultuous marriage ended, Colette went off with a high-born woman lover, the virile Marquise de Belboeuf, and embarked on a flamboyant stage career. She bared her breast to raucous applause in the French music-hall and became a celebrity of the lesbian demimonde.;While building a reputation for hugely popular fiction, drama, memoir, critcism and scandal, Colette became the Baroness de Jouvenal, the wife of Paris's most influential (and sexually charismatic) political journalist. She was one of the first women to report from the front lines of World War I. She edited the literary pages of a major daily. At 47, she seduced her stepson. In 1935, a readers' poll named Colette the greatest living master of French prose. Until her death in 1954, she continued to rewrite the rule for loving, working, and ageing.