Claudine’s House by Colette (France)

Sounds wonderful if not quite what you expected.

Imogen is Reading and Watching the World: On Books, Film, Art & More

Translated by Andrew Brown

Claudine’s House was book 5 of my 20 books of summer. Published in 1922, it form part of my side project to read books from 1922 throughout 2022. Historically, 1922 was a momentous year. I recently read Nick Rennison’s 1922: Scenes from a Turbulent year, published this year, which gives a brilliant overview: this is the year the USSR was formed, the Ottoman Empire fell, the post-Spanish flu pandemic ‘roaring ’20s’ got under way and, in publishing, ‘peak modernism’ was reached. Books published in 1922 include both Ulysses (which I keep eyeing warily) and the Waste Land. And this engaging sort-of memoir by Colette.

Lots of people have pointed to the book’s charm, as it evokes Colette’s childhood summers in a French country house, replete with puppies and kittens and hair fastened with ribbons. Through a series of short vignettes, life with her fluttering…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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