Louise de Vilmorin

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Louise Lévêque de Vilmorin (* 4 April 1902 in Verrières-le-Buisson; † 26 December 1969 ibid) was a French writer, poet and journalist.


Louise Lévêque de Vilmorin was the second daughter of Philippe Lévêque de Vilmorin (1872-1917) and his wife Mélanie de Gaufridy de Dortan (1876-1937). Her mother maintained a love affair with the Spanish King Alfonso XIII – the liaison produced a son, Roger Lévêque de Vilmorin (1905-1980).[1] Louise de Vilmorin received an extensive education and spoke several foreign languages. While studying literature in Paris, she met Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and announced her engagement to him in 1923. Saint-Exupéry survived a plane crash over Le Bourget only seriously injured. Out of consideration for the wishes of his fiancée and her family, he gave up his plans to become a military pilot and took up an office job – nevertheless, de Vilmorin broke off the engagement.

De Vilmorin was married twice. In her first marriage she married the wealthy US real estate agent Henry Leigh Hunt (1886-1972) in 1925. The union, which was divorced in Las Vegas in 1937, produced three daughters. In 1938 she married the Austro-Hungarian playboy Pál Count Pálffy de Erdöd (1890-1968), a marriage that was divorced after only a few months. She then went on to have several affairs, including with Jean Cocteau, Thomas Maria Count Paul Esterházy de Galántha and with the British ambassador Alfred Duff Cooper.

With the story Madame de ..., which de Vilmorin published in 1951, she also became known outside France. She was inspired to write by André Malraux. The man of letters and later Minister of Culture Charles de Gaulle was her long-time friend and occasional companion, especially in 1967 until her death in 1969. Her first works were social novels in which she included much of herself and her family. The rich heiress also made a name for herself as a hostess. At her family’s estate, the Château de Vilmorin, she used to gather around her France’s leading artists, including Alain Cuny, Pierre Bergé, René Clair, Max Ophüls, Anaïs Nin, Paul Meurisse, the painters Jean Hugo and Bernard Buffet, the dancers Roland Petit and Zizi Jeanmaire, Coco Chanel and Léo Ferré.

In 2019, the French Post Office issued a special stamp to mark the 50th anniversary of de Vilmorin’s death.[2]


German book editions

  • Julietta. Novel. Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, Stuttgart 1953
    • New translation by Patricia Klobusiczky: Dörlemann, Zurich 2010, ISBN 978-3-908777-53-3
  • Madame de ... Narrative. Biederstein, Munich 1953; Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1983, ISBN 3-608-95152-0
    • New translation by Patricia Klobusiczky: Dörlemann, Zurich 2012, ISBN 978-3-908777-74-8
  • Belles Amours. Novel. Biederstein, Munich 1955; Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-608-95150-4
  • Woe to him who loves. Biederstein, Munich 1956
    • New translation by Patricia Klobusiczky as: Love Story. Dörlemann, Zurich 2009, ISBN 978-3-908777-37-3
  • The letter in the taxi. Novel. Signum, Gütersloh 1962
    • New translation by Patricia Klobusiczky. Dörlemann, Zurich 2016, ISBN 978-3-03820-033-8


  • 1953: Julietta (submission)
  • 1953: Madame de … (submission)
  • 1958: The Lovers (screenplay)
  • 1960: The Frenchwoman and Love, 2nd episode (script)
  • 1968: Moment of Truth (screenplay, together with Orson Welles)


  • Jean Bothorel: Louise, ou la Vie de Louise de Vilmorin. Grasset, 1989
  • Albertine Gentou: La Muse amusée. Le Manuscrit, 1998
  • André de Vilmorin: Louise de Vilmorin. Seuil, 2000
  • Patrick Mauriès: Louise de Vilmorin, un album. Le Promeneur, 2002
  • Françoise Wagener: Je suis née inconsolable. Louise de Vilmorin (1902-1969). Albin Michel, 2008

Web links

  • Elodie Nel: Article “Louise de Vilmorin”. In: MUGI. Musikvermittlung und Genderforschung: Lexikon und multimediale Präsentationen, ed. by Beatrix Borchard and Nina Noeske, Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, 2003ff. Status as of 12 November 2015.

Individual references

  1. Louise Lévêque de Vilmorin
  2. France – Stamps – 2019 – The 50th Anniversary of the Death of Louise de Vilmorin, 1902-1969.Retrieved August 2, 2019.