23 July 2020

Georgette Gauthier in Cluny (Saône-et-Loire (71))

Georgette Gauthier (1902-75) was from Cluny, and the plaque on her house gives a quotation from what is obviously a poem of hers. But neither the BNP nor BookFinder list any books of hers. In fact the only information I can find about her comes from AMAAC (Amis du musée d’art et d’archéologie de Cluny), which – to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of its existence last year – organised an exhibition of information on twenty-five people associated with Cluny, and of course Gauthier is one of them. From the information given, we learn that Gauthier's father was a well-known plasterer in the town, that the family lived on rue Filaterie, in the house where Georgette would spend her whole life. She was very interested in literature, particularly in poetry, and Léon Declin – a friend of her father's – encouraged her in this pursuit.

Lamartine's poetry was constantly with her, and she spent whole nights reciting his peoetry. Her grandmother told her stories from her own grandmother, in which it was said that Lamartine came to shoe his horse in Cluny and stopped off at the Café de la Paix. We also learn that she wrote for the paper La Bourgogne d'Or, and that her poetry was often humorous.

For most of her life she kept a journal, which contained her thoughts and comments on local activities. She had a great unknown love, although she merely calls him 'Jean'. She was also close to the Gadzarts, who apparently published a collection of her poems: 'Chants inutiles'. She died of flu in a convalescent home at the age of 73.

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