A pioneer of feminism, the writer Colette left a lasting mark on the Palais Royal district in Paris where she spent the last years of her life.
Claudine, her first novel
Colette arrived in Paris in 1889 and then lived at 28 rue Jacob. She was then married to a journalist, Willy, who introduced her to the social salons where the Parisian intellectual elite met. Shortly after the publication of “Claudine“, Colette’s first novel, signed with her husband’s name, the couple moved to rue de Courcelles, the theater district. But becoming more and more emancipated, she leaves Willy to appear in pantomimes at the music hall, dressed in light outfits. After her debut at the Bataclan, she achieved great success at the Théatre Marigny.
The Palais Royal
Colette moved to the Palais Royal district for the first time in 1927 and came back to settle there permanently in 1937. She called her “tunnel” a place: “It was so narrow that you could only eat the eel. It is at this address that she wrote most of her work. She will also share this address with her third husband, Maurice Goudeket, who will support her until his death. She is thus one of the regulars of the restaurant “Le Grand Véfour”, a few steps away or the Vivienne gallery. She also became one of the main clients of the Jousseaume bookstore. In the 1940s, suffering from osteoarthritis, she was forced to never leave her bed. She nevertheless continues to write, lulled by life whose clamor she hears from her windows overlooking the gardens of the Palais Royal. In 1942, she published “Paris de ma fenêtre“, a series of chronicles testifying to the suffering of Parisians during the occupation.