BOOK LAUNCH : Courtesan and Countess

The Lost and Found Memoirs of the French Consul’s Wife By Jana Verhoeven, Allan Willey and Jeanne Allen

Alliance Francaise de Melbourne
51 Grey Street,
VIC 3182, St Kilda

Book here

Céleste de Chabrillan, former courtesan and widow of the first French Consul to Melbourne, became the most prolific female stage writer in nineteenth-century France. Forever haunted by her scandalous past, Céleste fought to hold her place in an artistic world dominated by men.
Courtesan and Countess tells the story not only of her struggle as a creative artist to survive and earn a living, but also of her fascinating life at the centre of the bohemian circles of Paris, surrounded by friends such as Alexandre Dumas père, Georges Bizet and Prince Napoléon. Courtesan and Countess paints a portrait of a remarkable woman and of the turbulent world of Paris during the Belle Epoque.
Lost for more than eighty years until discovered by the authors in the attic of a French country manor, these are the unpublished and final set of memoirs from Céleste de Chabrillan.

Presentation by Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie (Honorary Consul General of France in Victoria), Colin Nettelbeck (Emeritus Professor of the University of Melbourne), Jana Verhoeven, Alan Willey and Jeanne Allen

Jana Verhoeven (lead author) is a researcher and teacher of French literature and history at the University of Melbourne. Her most recent publication is Jovial Bigotry: Max O'Rell and the Transnational Debate over Manners and Morals in 19th Century France, Britain and the United States. Jana has also published a number of articles on nineteenth century French cultural history, including Les deux noms and Petit journal de la fin de ma vie: Céleste de Chabrillan's mémoires inédits.

Alan Willey read Modern Languages at Oxford and taught French at Wesley College Melbourne for over thirty years. He has been researching Céleste de Chabrillan's life since 1998.

Jeanne Allen studied French language and literature at the University of Melbourne and wrote her Master of Arts thesis on a selection of the Australian works of Céleste de Chabrillan. In 1998, she co-translated and annotated Céleste's second set of memoirs, The French Consul's Wife. Jeanne is currently an Associate Professor in Education.

You may also like...

Affiches exhibition

Affiches exhibition

Original first prints of key
French graphic designers
05 Oct to 04 Nov 2017

Weekend French courses

Weekend French courses

5-week French courses in St Kilda or in the CBD
18 Nov - 16 Dec 2017

Jazzy Jeudi - Duo Philippe Guidat Pascal Rollando

Jazzy Jeudi - Duo Philippe Guidat Pascal Rollando

Thursday 9 November at 8pm.
The guitarist Philippe Guidat and the percussionist Pascal Rollando want to reconnect with the natural acoustic characteristics of their instruments.

2017 French Xmas Market

2017 French Xmas Market

Sat 9 & Sun 10 Dec 2017
At the Alliance Française, St Kilda

Thanks for sharing! / Merci pour le partage!


St Kilda branch:
51 Grey Street, ST KILDA
Tel : 03 9525 3463
Fax : 03 9525 5064

Postal Address:
PO Box 2042,

St Kilda branch opening hours:
Mon - Fri: 9am to 7pm (switchboard/reception: 9.30am to 6.30pm)
Sat: 9am to 6pm (switchboard/reception: 9am to 5.30pm)

How to find us:
Trams: 16, 96, Fitzroy Street
3, 5, 64, 67 St Kilda Junction (3, 64, 67 Alma Road)
Car park available
Wheelchair access

City branch:
Level 13, 55 Swanston St, MELBOURNE
Tel : 03 9525 3463
Fax : 03 9525 5064

City branch opening hours:
Mon - Thurs 9am to 1pm & 2pm to 6.30pm
Fri - Sat: 9am to 12pm & 1pm to 6pm

How to find us:
Trams: 1, 3, 3a, 5, 6, 8, 11, 16, 42, 48, 64, 67, 72, 109
& 112 running down Swanston St (stop: Collins St/Swanston St)
Trains: Flinders St Station is 1 block away