Nul n'avait jamais évoqué l'Occupation et les années qui l'ont suivie du point de vue des femmes. Dans cette vaste fresque humaine, Anne Sebba leur rend la parole.
1940, les Allemands occupent Paris, vidée de ses hommes. Tandis que la vie mondaine bat son plein autour de Josée de Chambrun et que Simone Signoret n'a d'autres choix que de continuer à travailler, Coco Chanel ferme boutique, Germaine Tillion participe aux débuts de la Résistance, Rose Valland refuse d'assister impuissante au pillage des musées et Irène Némirovsky comprend qu'il est trop tard pour échapper à son destin.
Des scènes des cabarets au camp de Drancy en passant par les loges de concierge et les queues devant les magasins, sans oublier les maisons closes, la vie de vingt millions de parisiennes a été bouleversée par l'histoire.
WINNER OF THE FRANCO-BRITISH SOCIETY BOOK PRIZE 2016 June, 1940. German troops enter Paris and hoist the swastika over the Arc de Triomphe. The dark days of Occupation begin. How would you have survived? By collaborating with the Nazis, or risking the lives of you and your loved ones to resist? The women of Paris faced this dilemma every day - whether choosing between rations and the black market, or travelling on the Metro, where a German soldier had priority for a seat. Between the extremes of defiance and collusion was a vast moral grey area which all Parisiennes had to navigate in order to survive. Anne Sebba has sought out and interviewed scores of women, and brings us their unforgettable testimonies. Her fascinating cast includes both native Parisiennes and temporary residents: American women and Nazi wives; spies, mothers, mistresses, artists, fashion designers and aristocrats. The result is an enthralling account of life during the Second World War and in the years of recovery and recrimination that followed the Liberation of Paris in 1944. It is a story of fear, deprivation and secrets - and, as ever in the French capital, glamour and determination.
Par quel miracle Bessie Wallis Warfield, jeune américaine roturière née hors mariage et déjà deux fois divorcée, devient-elle la duchesse de Windsor ? Par amour pour elle, Édouard VIII, rencontré en 1931 lors d'une partie de chasse, renonce à son trône de roi d'Angleterre et d'empereur des Indes, créant un véritable cataclysme au sein de l'Empire britannique.
Drôle et intelligente, calculatrice et ambitieuse, soupçonnée d'entretenir des liaisons dangereuses avec le régime nazi, la duchesse de Windsor règne sur la vie parisienne de l'après-guerre pendant plus de trente ans. Avec son style singulier, Wallis la scandaleuse se met au service des plus grandes maisons de luxe - Givenchy, Goyard, Cartier ou Roger Vivier - et devient une icône de la mode et un symbole d'émancipation.
À partir d'archives inédites et après une longue enquête, Anne Sebba retrace la vie de cette femme fascinante, sulfureuse et mystérieuse qui aurait pu devenir reine.
@2@@20@What did it feel like to be a woman living in Paris from 1939 to 1949? @21@These were years of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation and secrets until - finally - renewal and retribution. Even at the darkest moments of Occupation, glamour was ever present. French women wore lipstick. Why?@3@@2@It was women who came face to face with the German conquerors on a daily basis - perhaps selling them their clothes or travelling alongside them on the Metro, where a German soldier had priority over seats. By looking at a wide range of individuals from collaborators to resisters, actresses and prostitutes to teachers and writers, Anne Sebba shows that women made life-and-death decisions every day, and, in an atmosphere where sex became currency, often did whatever they needed to survive. Her fascinating cast includes both native Parisian women and those living in Paris temporarily: American women and Nazi wives, spies, mothers, mistresses, and fashion and jewellery designers. @3@@2@Some women, like the heiress Beatrice de Camondo or novelist Irène Nemirovsky, converted to Catholicism; others like lesbian racing driver Violette Morris embraced the Nazi philosophy; only a handful, like Coco Chanel, retreated to the Ritz with a German lover.@3@@2@In enthralling detail Sebba explores the aftershock of the Second World War and the choices demanded. How did the women who survived to see the Liberation of Paris come to terms with their actions and those of others? Although politics lies at its heart, @18@Les Parisiennes@19@ is the first in-depth account of the everyday lives of women and young girls in this most feminine of cities.@3@
One of Britain's most distinguished biographers turns her focus on one of the most vilified woman of the last century. Historian Anne Sebba has written the first full biography of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, by a woman which attempts to understand this fascinating and enigmatic American divorcee who nearly became Queen of England.
'That woman', as she was referred to by the Queen Mother, became a hate figure for allegedly ensnaring a British king. Born in 1895 in Baltimore, Bessiewallis Warfield endured an impoverished and comparatively obscure childhood which inflamed a burning desire to rise above her circumstances. Neither beautiful nor brilliant, and no longer young, she nevertheless became one of the most talked about women of her generation, and inspired such deep love and adoration in Edward VIII that even giving up a throne and an empire for her was not enough to prove his total devotion. Wallis lived by her wit and her wits, while both her apparent and alleged moral transgressions added to her aura and dazzle. Accused of Fascist sympathies, having Nazi lovers and learning bizarre sexual techniques in China, she was the subject of widespread gossip and fascination that has only increased with the years. In death, the Duchess became a symbol of empowerment and a style icon, a woman whose unequivocal aim was to win in the game of life.
Based on new archives and material recently made available, this scrupulously researched biography re evaluates the role of politicians in the 1930s, sheds new light on the character and motivations of this powerful, charismatic and complex woman, and questions was this really the romantic love story of the century?
The first serious yet sympathetic biography by a woman of the Duchess of Windsor, the former Mrs Simpson.
En présentant différentes figures féminines, des collaboratrices aux résistantes, des actrices et prostituées aux enseignantes et écrivaines de renom, cette étude montre comment les Parisiennes vécurent au quotidien dans le Paris occupé des années 40.