Colette (born 28 January 1873; died 3 August 1954), actress, novelist, journalist, autobiographer and, towards the end of her life, grande dame of French letters, is a writer whose life and works are inextricably intertwined. Colette’s life was notoriously full of scandal, including semi-nude appearances on stage, a lesbian affair with the Marquise de Belboeuf – alias “Missy” – three marriages, and relationships with younger men, notably her sixteen-year-old stepson, Bertrand de Jouvenel. Yet such was her popularity that on her death she was awarded the honour of a secular state funeral attended by thousands of admirers (the Cardinal-Archbishop of Paris had vetoed a religious ceremony on the grounds that she had …

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Fell, Alison S.. "Colette". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 April 2005
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]