Date Published:  to 1944
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette was of the most famous of modern French writers and nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. She wrote over 50 novels including Gigi (1944), and "Cheri" (1920) She was also a mime, an actress, and a journalist. Colette was married three times and her first husband, Henri Gauthier-Villars was a journalist writing under the name of "Willy". Colette was elected to the Belgian Royal Academy (1935), first woman president of the Académie Goncourt (1945, and President in 1949), and a Chevalier (1920) and Grand Officer (1953) of the Légion d'honneur. Colette died on 3 August 1954 in her apartment in the Palais-Royal, aged 81. She was given a state funeral.
This most interesting and scarce Colette ephemera archive contains 7 items dating early 1900's to 1944 specifically, 5 Autographed Letters Signed (ALS), one with small photo and 2 unused post cards.
5 ALS (one with small photo); • ALS by Henri Gauthier-Villars, or "Willy", her first husband including a small photo of Colette and another woman at a beach. No date or place. 5-1/4 x 7 inches, photo 1-7/8 x 3 inches. French hand-writing.
Frightful Procrustes* What have you decided? What [are you plotting?]? Shylock only cut meat from his debtors, but you... its my style, my thought, my being which you are taking. I curse you. (Music, from the invisible orchestra) Once having given voice to these curses, I ask you... to please send me the Dialogue des Sots, by a lady whose name I forget. Receive my blessing, Willy
["She" is probably Colette. The letter was written by Henri Gauthier-Villars, or "Willy", her first husband.
*Procrustes (Greek for "he who stretches") According to Ancient Greek myth, he was a robber who waylaid travellers, stretched them out on an iron bed, and if they were too short for the bed, he would stretch their members until they fit. If they were too long for the bed, he would cut off their
legs, arms, and heads until they were the right size. Theseus killed him after giving him a taste of his own medicine].
[referring to the attached photo of two women on the beach in their bathing suits and fishing nets]:
She is in front. Meg is following. Don't show this to just anybody.
• ALS Paris, [ND] Colette to Marguerite Moreno signed by "Collette". White envelope (5-3/4 x 4-1/2 inches) and was folded, now flat letter (8-1/4 x 9-1/2 inches) on blue paper hand-written in French on both sides of paper.
• ALS Paris, [April 11, 1944] signed by "Collette". Blue envelope (5-3/4 x 5-1/2 inches) and was folded, now flat letter (8-1/4 x 5-1/4 inches) on blue paper hand-written in French on both sides of paper. English summary of letter from Colette to Marguerite Moreno content; Marguerite Moreno is very upset about her nephew, who has been arrested by the Germans. "I saw Val, today and she appears to be full of hope. She told me as we speak Marguerite is having an extremely interesting conversation (exchange of ideas)". This news gives Colette & Maurice great pleasure. She thinks so much of Marguerite and they embrace her with great tenderness and an infinite impatience. signed "Colette"
• ALS Paris, No date, signed Colette de Jouvenel. 1 page, 5-1/4 x 7 inches on blue paper letterhead with 57, Rue Cortambert, at top right, french hand-written text. English summary of content;
Dear friend, here is what I received this morning from Mme Marguerite Durand. Now I think I will find a very pleasing audience (including a row of pregnant women). We remain devoted to you. (signed) Colette de Jouvenel.
Colette meets in 1911 Henry de Jouvenel at the newspaper Le Matin for which she works. Second marriage to Henry de Jouvenel (from 1912 to 1923). She moves with him to the "chalet", 57 rue Cortambert in Passy. She married him in December 1912 Henry de Jouvenel is mobilized. She joins him in Verdun and lives illegally at 15 bis rue d'Anthouard. Returning to Paris in 1917, they occupy 62 Boulevard Suchet. The couple separated in 1923.
• ALS [Paris, No date], signed Colette Willy. 1 page, 4-1/2 x 6-3/4 inches inches on white paper french hand-written text. English summary of content;
Dear Sir. Here is an invitation to the circle (club) on the rue Charras (Tues. eve at 10pm sharp) )signed) Colette Willy
Colette in 1893 married Henry Gauthier-Villars (1859–1931) or "Willy", his nom-de-plume. Colette and Willy separated in 1906, although it was not until 1910 that the divorce became final.
Two post cards;
• Two unused black & white post cards 4-1/4 x 5-1/4 inches each with a printed image of Colette