"My name is Colette – and the hand that holds the pen writes history."
Colette, or Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, is one of the most fascinating figures of French literary history. Manipulated by her husband Willy, her initial works appeared under his name. They were a series of four novels, semi-autobiographical in nature, about an unconventional young woman named Claudine, charting her adventures from a Burgundian village to the literary salons of Paris.
Willy was the first to encourage her to write, but he was a cruel man: when Colette asked to have her name attached to her work, he locked her away until she continued to produce pages for him.
A new film starring Keira Knightley as Colette, with Dominic West as her husband, charts the author's life and her struggles to have her own voice heard.
She eventually escaped the manipulations of her husband and went on to become a sexual and literary revolutionary, with her best-known work, Gigi, becoming the basis for the 1958 musical.
Directed by Wash Westmoreland, the film also stars Denise Gough, Fiona Shaw, Eleanor Tomlinson, Robert Pugh, and Ray Panthaki.
Colette hits UK cinemas January 2019.
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