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Author photo. Image from <b><i>Les chants des vaincus: poésies nouvelles</i></b> (1846) by Louise Colet

Image from Les chants des vaincus: poésies nouvelles (1846) by Louise Colet

Louise Colet (1810–1876)

Author of Lui: A View of Him

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Louise Colet, née Revoil, is best known today as the muse and lover of Gustave Flaubert. She was the daughter of a businessman. In 1834, she married Hippolyte Colet, a musician. She published her first collection of poetry, entitled Fleurs du Midi, in 1836. Louise Colet established a popular and influential literary salon in Paris, which became a meeting place for leading figures such as Alfred de Musset, Alfred de Vigny, and Victor Cousin, who helped her win prizes and a state pension. Her stormy relationship with Flaubert lasted about eight years, and she's believed to have been the inspiration for Madame Bovary. After their affair ended, Louise Colet published a bitter semi-autobiographical novel called Lui (A View of Him, 1859) which caused a sensation.
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