Gauthiers-Villars, Henri

BORN 10 Aug 1859, Villiers-sur-Orge, Essonne - DIED 12 Jan 1931, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière du Montparnasse, 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet (division 10)

Henri Gauthiers-Villars was educated at the Collège Stanislas in Paris. Heobtained a degree in law in 1885 and started working in the family's publishing firm. He liked women and the author Rachilde described him as 'a brilliant Parisian rake'. In 1889 he met Sidonie Colette, who was 14 years his junior. They married on 15 May 1893, when she was twenty years old. Initially Colette handled his corresponcde, but she wrote the successful novel "Claudine A L'École" that was edited by him and published under his pen name Willy. Three sequels followed until 1903.

Willy had affairs with other women and Colette met his mistress Charlotte Kinceler who became her friend. Both Willy and Colette had an affair with the socialite Georgie Raoul-Duval. When they found out about each other they visited the Bayreuth festival together with Georgie. In 1905 he was painted by Giovanni Boldoni. In 1906 he separated from Colette and in 1909 he sold the rights to the Claudine novels without consulting Colette. The divorce followed until 1910.

He continued to write novels, often using ghost writers. the money he made was spent on women and gambling. His second wife was Marguerite Maniez, known as Meg Villars. After his death in Paris in 1931 3,000 mourners attended his funeral at the Montparnasse cemetery.

• Wife: Colette, Sidonie-Gabrielle-Claudine (1893-1910) (divorce or separation)

Related persons
• was painted by Boldini, Giovanni

3/1/1907Riot in the Moulin Rouge after a dancing act by Colette. Colette had danced before in daring clothes. This time the piece that was performed was "Le Rêve D'Egypte". It was edited by her lesbian friend Missy de Morny and she also appeared under the name of 'Yssim'. In the audience was a large group of Bonapartists who considered the performance to be scandalous. When at the end of the play Missy kissed Colette on the mouth in a fiery manner an uproar broke out and the performance was stopped. Afterwards the police prefect Louis Lépine decided to change the title to "Songe d'Orient" and Missy was no longer allowed to participateand was replaced by George Wague. But the outcry persisted and the play was banned in Paris two days later. [Colette, Sidonie-Gabrielle-Claudine]


The grave of Henri Gauthiers-Villars at the Montparnasse cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (01 Nov 2018)


• Phelps, Robert, Belles Saisons, A Colette Scrapbook, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1975
Henry Gauthier-Villars - Wikipedia
Scandale au Moulin-Rouge en 1907 : Colette y embrasse goulûment son amante

Gautier, Théophile

Published: 26 Jan 2020
Last update: 26 Jan 2020