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, and from whom she received her 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 for 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 into French. Judith Gautier became the first woman to be elected a member of the prestigious Academie Goncourt in 1910 and also was nominated a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.