Louise de Coligny-Châtillon (July 30, 1881 – 1963) is well-known for being ‘Lou,’ Guillaume Apollinaire’s lover. Born Geneviève Marguerite Marie-Louise de Coligny-Chatillon Pillot, attended the girls' boarding school of St. Maur. She took flight lessons in 1912, but gave up after a few months.
Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), met de Coligny-Châtillon in Nice in September 1914 and a flamboyant affair began almost immediately. Lou was a member of one of the most illustrious families in Europe, a descendant of the famous Admiral Coligny. Initially she was amused and fascinated by the poet, but not impressed. In anger and frustration, Apollinaire joined the army, writing her on December 5, 1914 that he was leaving for the barracks at Nimes the following day. Within a few days she had followed him there. The evidence found in later letters and poems shows that they spend their time there in a frenzy of eroticism. The liaison lasted but a few months; but, they continued to correspond after their affair, having agreed to describe to each other everything, including the intimate physical details, concerning their future involvements. He dedicated his collection Poèmes á Lou to be published posthumously in 1947.
Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.
Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.
If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)
Acquisition Note: Source: Purchased from Bertram Rota Ltd Booksellers. Accession number 1201
Preferred Citation:Name of the Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections
Collection Material Type: Manuscripts
Other Note: A translation of these letters done by Shirley M. (Tuck) Loui is included with the originals. Gift of Shirley M. (Tuck) Loui, February 19, 1980.