The French Consul's Wife

Jeanne Allen, Patricia Clancy
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The French Consul's Wife

Published

13 April 1999

ISBN

9780522850666

Weight

448g

Size

234mm x 160mm

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

The French Consul's Wife

Jeanne Allen, Patricia Clancy
The vivid memoirs of a former Parisian courtesan and circus performer who scandalised Melbourne in the 1850s.
'What a subject for a film, but not, please, Meryl Streep ... Together with Dr Patricia Clancy (Melbourne University) and Jeanne Allen's (La Trobe University) elegant translation and able notes, the memoirs make for a piquant, informative, variegated and often startling read ... Miegunyah Press you've done it again.' (Derek Whitelock, Weekend Australian)

A former Parisian courtesan, circus performer and dancer, Céleste de Chabrillan scandalised Melbourne society when she arrived in 1854 as the wife of the French Consul. These memoirs give a vivid firsthand account of the two-and-a-half years she spent in gold-rush Victoria.

Céleste's arrival in Melbourne was preceded by the publication of her memoirs describing her illegitimate birth, miserable adolescence and celebrity career as a courtesan, bareback rider and polka dancer. As a result she was dubbed the consul's 'harlot spouse' and ostracised by society.

Despite this, Céleste did not avoid the public gaze and continued to…
'What a subject for a film, but not, please, Meryl Streep ... Together with Dr Patricia Clancy (Melbourne University) and Jeanne Allen's (La Trobe University) elegant translation and able notes, the memoirs make for a piquant, informative, variegated and often startling read ... Miegunyah Press you've done it again.' (Derek Whitelock, Weekend Australian)

A former Parisian courtesan, circus performer and dancer, Céleste de Chabrillan scandalised Melbourne society when she arrived in 1854 as the wife of the French Consul. These memoirs give a vivid firsthand account of the two-and-a-half years she spent in gold-rush Victoria.

Céleste's arrival in Melbourne was preceded by the publication of her memoirs describing her illegitimate birth, miserable adolescence and celebrity career as a courtesan, bareback rider and polka dancer. As a result she was dubbed the consul's 'harlot spouse' and ostracised by society.

Despite this, Céleste did not avoid the public gaze and continued to employ her literary talents. Her memoirs are of a life spent in the village of St Kilda, the diplomatic and government house circle and the Ballarat gold fields. Her descriptions of a public hanging, Governor Hotham's 'beer ball' and her own Ball for the Victims of Crimea reveal her as a woman of great energy and wilful temperament.

Jeanne Allen

Jeanne Allen taught French at La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne and has published on the French in colonial Australia.

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Patricia Clancy

Dr Patricia Clancy was for many years a senior lecturer in the French Department of the University of Melbourne. She is a winner of the Victorian Premier's Award for Literary Translation.

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Paperback
Added to basketCheckout →
Ships in 4–10 business days
Other formats available