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Author photo. Courtesy of the <a href="http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1158528">NYPL Digital Gallery</a><br>(image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery
(image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Judith Gautier (1845–1917)

Author of The Book of Jade

Includes the names: Judith Mendès, Translated By S. A. B. Harvey Judith Gautier

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Louise Charlotte Ernestine Gautier was the eldest daughter of French novelist Théophile Gautier and the Italian diva Ernesta Grisi. Known as Judith, she was taught fluent Chinese as a child by a scholar employed in her father’s household, from whom she received a love of Asian culture that was reflected in her writing. Her home was also a meeting place for Parisian literary and musical avant-garde society. She married the poet Catulle Mendès, but their union was short-lived, and Judith never remarried. She took up writing as a career and became a music and art critic for French newspapers. She wrote novels and collaborated with Pierre Loti (pseudonym of Julien Viaud) on a 1912 play, La fille du ciel. Judith was a friend of Marcel Proust and of Richard Wagner, whose operas she helped to popularize by translating them  Academie Goncourt in 1910 and she was also nominated a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
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