Colette (full name Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette) (Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye 28 January 1873 - Paris 3 August 1954). She was a French novelist and performer, best known for her novel Gigi, upon which Lerner and Loewe based the stage and film musical comedies of the same title. She was the most daring, audacious, (bi)sexual and modern girl of ‘La Belle Époque’ (‘The Beautiful Era’) that began in the late 1800’s and ended with WW I. As a young girl, Colette married in 1893 her first husband who was 15 years her senior. From her steamy love letters he spotted her talent for writing. After marriage he locked her up in a room, forcing her to write. She wrote books which shocked proper society, making them wildly popular. Her husband published these books under his name, but everyone who met him immediately knew it wasn’t his writing. Collette became an instant smash hit, which lasted to the end of her life. She left her unfaithful husband in 1906 and lived for some period of time with the American writer and salonist Natalie Clifford Barney. Colette had a variety of lovers including a five-year romance with the Marquise de Belbeuf with whom she performed at ‘La Moulin Rouge’. Their sexually charged and blatantly hungry onstage kiss cased such hysteria that the Paris police were summoned to avert a riot. In 1912, Colette married Henri de Jouvenel, the editor of the newspaper Le Matin. The couple had one daughter, Colette de Jouvenel, known to the family as Bel-Gazou. Colette de Jouvenel later stated that her mother did not want a child and left her in the care of an English nanny, only rarely visiting her. In 1914, during World War I, Colette was approached to write a ballet for the Paris Opera, which she outlined under the title "Divertissements pour ma fille". After Colette herself chose Maurice Ravel to write the music, he reimagined the work as an opera, to which Colette agreed. Ravel received the libretto to L'enfant et les sortilèges in 1918, and it was first performed on 21 March 1925. During the war, she converted her husband's Saint-Malo estate into a hospital for the wounded, and was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (1920). She divorced Henri de Jouvenel in 1924 after a much talked-about affair with her stepson, Bertrand de Jouvenel. In 1935, Colette married Maurice Goudeket and as from that year her legal name was simply Sidonie Goudeket. Throughout her career she published over 50 novels, including ‘Cheri’ and ‘Gigi’ which became massive Broadway and Hollywood classics. Colette was given a state funeral and her daughter, who died in 1981, is buried with her mother. For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colette.