Colette: Cougar Woman Ahead of the Curve

November 12, 2009

coletteThe novelist Colette had a notorious affair with her stepson that started when he was only 16 (or 19). The age difference was somewhere between 20 and 30 years. (I wish these sources would get together and agree on something.) Colette published a famous and scandalous novel called Cheri, a romance where the woman is 24 years older than her lover!

In those days, a novel typically came out one chapter at a time, in a magazine. In that respect, a novel was more like a TV series. The readers were forced to wait to find out what happened. Somehow they remembered the plot and characters from one episode to the next. People’s minds were less crowded with urgent, exigent matters in those days.

Anyway, people assumed that Colette’s novel was based on the stepson affair, but here’s the weird part – about half of Cheri had already been published in serialized form before she ever met that young man.

At 52, Colette met Maurice Goudeket, who was 16 years her junior, and who became her third husband. He later published a book titled The Delights of Growing Old. The reviewer at The Common Reader says,

Goudeket at thirty found himself at last drawn into the ‘great love’ he’d despaired of ever finding, and in these pages he draws an exquisitely tender picture of this thirty-year relationship, vividly capturing the sense of wonder and awe he unfailingly felt toward his gifted, remarkable wife.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: