Jean-Yves Berthault

The Passion of Mademoiselle S.
  • The Passion of Mademoiselle S.

  • 'Do you want me to talk to you of our love? There are no words, however eloquent, to express all the passion, all the fire, all the madness contained within these two words: our love …’

    A collection of long-lost letters dating from 1928 recently discovered in a dusty cellar in Paris paint a vivid portrait of a passionate love affair between a woman – identified only as Simone – and her married lover, Charles.

    As their relationship evolves in sometimes shocking and unexpected ways, Simone lays bare her desires, fears, anxieties and fantasies as she is driven to increasing lengths to gain satisfaction.

    Framed by illuminating insights from the man who found and edited them, these letters open a window into another time and another life, and a woman whose voice echoes down the century and still resonates today.

    ‘A treasure trove of love letters give an extraordinary and pulsating glimpse into the Paris of the Roaring Twenties’ The Connexion

Jean-Yves Berthault is a French diplomat, fluent English speaker, and has worked professionally around the world. In 2012, when helping a close friend clear out her cellar in Paris, he stumbled upon an old attaché case buried deep beneath a high pile of discarded newspapers. Opening it, he discovered it was crammed full of letters dating from 1928, written by a woman who we shall call Simone. This was the start of a two-year project in which he collated the letters into chronological order and added historical and cultural footnotes. The letters are now a testament to a unique love affair and to a moment in history.

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