Quotation from Juliette Benzoni.

Biography of Juliette Benzoni


 

With deep regret I must inform you that our dearest Juliette, our beloved author, passed away on February 7, 2016 in Saint-Mandé . She died quietly in her sleep, her dear daughter Anne at her side!

She was in her 96th year and for over 50 years has taught us so much about history, entertaining us with its beautiful characters with whom we loved and suffered!
She leaves us 86 gems to read and re-read with as much pleasure.

For me she was more than my preferred author, she had my friend Frédérique and me adopted, and called us her « filles des grands chemins ». I am going to miss her more than I can express in words... All our thoughts are with Anne her daughter.
I like to show you some of the beautiful words Vincent Meylan, close friend to Juliette wrote to me on the Catherine, il suffit d'un amour Facebook page:

Dear Linda,
So many of us feel the loss of Juliette tonight. I know this is something very personal to say, but maybe it will help you a bit. I have decided a long time ago that I would never accept that someone is dead. I just live with it. I do not think people are ever dead. I keep dead people, which I love with me, always - this is quite easy to do in Juliette’s case. Yesterday evening I started reading again Catherine and I so love it. I am so thankful to Juliette for having written such amazing books, which always take me to a place I enjoy so much. Juliette is not gone. You just have to open one of her books to be close to her. Try it...
Je vous embrasse amicalement and do not forget to read a few pages of one of Juliette's book tonight. Vincent


 
 

I like to say again thank you to Claudine Ancelot who recorded for us this video clip. It was a tribute to Juliette shown on French television on February 11, 2016. It shows Juliette in 1978 in a TV-show.

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text Linda,  Webmistress

Juliette Benzoni was born as Andrée-Marguerite-Juliette Mangin on 30 October 1920 in Paris, France.  She spent all her childhood in Saint-Germain-des-Pres. Her father Charles-Hubert Mangin, was a industrial, originally from Lorraine and her mother, Marie-Susanne Arnold was from the region of Champagne, with Alsace and Swiss origin. She passed her childhood in Saint-German-des-Près.  When she was near fifteen years old, her parents went to live in Saint-Mandé.

She studied at the Hulst College, then in the Catholique Institut,  philosophie, law and literature. After her education she married a doctor from Dijon Maurice Gallois, and was soon mother of two children, that is
 


During that period of her life, she spent hours after hours in libraries, studying the history of Burgundy in Medieval times. One day she came across the legend of the Orden of the golden Fleece, which inspired her to the series of Catherine in the future. After the liberation of France, she lost her husband and decided to go to Morocco, to visit her deceased husband's relative.

 

She joined the editorial staff at a radio station called Radio-International. She then met colonel (Count Benzoni) André Benzoni.
 


whom she married. After her return to Paris, France, she launched into journalism, writing for several newspapers, a number of historical articles.
 

In the beginning of the sixties, an Editor who had seen her in an important TV Show, asked her to write a historical romance. He wanted it to be in the style of Anne Golon's  Angelique. This is when Juliette Benzoni started to write Catherine, one love is enough (Catherine, Il suffit d'un amour) The first book was immediately a huge success and already ten foreign publishers had bought the rights to translate the story. Catherine has been translated into more than twenty languages!
 


 

Photo of Juliette which dates back to the year of 1971. We can see Juliette during dedicating Marianne, and the masked Prince from the series Marianne, a Star for Napoleon.


Even the author herself could not understand what fascinated millions of readers, about the life of a young Bourgeoise from the fifteenth century. Juliette Benzoni has touched the hearts of her readers, the way she added historical facts with the life of her heroine in a bygone time. The secret of success lies between Juliette Benzoni's ingenious way of writing and also her fictive characters.
The « Catherine-series » were meant to be a five book series hence the epilogue in the fifth book. The book was published in 1968 and had the title Catherine and a time for love (Catherine, et le temps d'aimer).


This is what Juliette said in an interview 1985 about Catherine:
« ...I have a weakness for Catherine. Because she was the first of my heroines, and also because her story I invented, while "Marianne, a star for Napoleon" was a command given to me  for the bicentenary of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte...»
 

After her great success with « Catherine » Juliette Benzoni, never stopped writing. Her next series was called « Marianne, une étoile pour Napoléon » which dealt in the Napoleonic period. Her readers loved the new heroine and remained her faithful readers.

During the writing on one of the Marianne books, Juliette Benzoni was asked if she would write two more « Catherine books » due to the fact of the sensational success. She agreed and in 1973, five years after Catherine and a time for love, the first of the two books Snare for Catherine (Piège pour Catherine) was put on the market. Though it must be mentioned that her faithful readers had to wait six years until the sequel La Dame de Montsalvy was published in 1979!

In 1983, French television Antenne 2, bestowed their viewers many happy hours with the TV-production of Marianne, a star for Napoleon directed by Marion Sarraut. This time Juliette Benzoni was more than satisfied, she worked hand in hand with Marion Sarraut and the overwhelming success tells it's on tale.
So when the question came again to film the story of Catherine directed again by Marion Sarraut, Juliette was more than happy to agree and finally give her story and her characters the justice they deserved and making forget the aweful movie from 1968! The success was overwhelming and until this day Claudine Ancelot who played successfully Catherine, the golden haired girl and Pierre-Marie Escourrou, the arrogant but beloved hero Arnaud de Montsalvy are unforgotten and remembered with great joy and admiration.

Juliette Benzoni wrote over 86 immensely successful books...!

Le Vol du Sancy - Des Carats pour Ava? Was published two weeks before Juliette Benzoni's passing away on February 7, 2016. It was the 15th adventure of Venetian Prince Aldo Morosini and his gang, expert on precious and ancient stones.

 

It was one of Juliette Benzoni's wish that her Aldo Morosini books would be translated into foreign languages! She was an incomparable author and her historical books were absolutely accurate. Every tiny detail and character was thoroughly studied. Her heroines are credible and lovable and the real personages seem to come alive and were not only a name in a history book anymore!

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I had the extraordinarily joy to have met Juliette on many memorable visits to her home in Saint-Mandé. It has enriched my live and confirmed to me one thing « dreams can come true » we must only believe in them....! 

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Now my dearest friend has gone on... I would love only one more time to thank her infinitely for all the memorable hours she has given me while reading her outstanding precious books, travelling with her characters in many places I would not have known without her books. I shall never forget the happy moments at her home together with her daughter Anne.

Juliette I miss you, but one day we shall meet again and you will tell me all about the secrets you have learned now about some of the historic characters. Who was behind the Iron Mask? What happened to Queen Marie-Antoinette's little son Louis, XVII ?

Until then my adorable sweet Lady of Saint-Mandé, I shall go on reading your books over and over again...
 

With all my love
Linda


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1973 Alexandre Dumas Prix


photo of the medal l'academie française

1988 Prix Littéraire « Louis Barthou »
Silver Medal of the Académie Française for her book  Felicia au soleil couchant (Series Les loups de Lauzarques)



1998 Chevalier of the National Order of Merit



Juliette Benzoni receiving the National Order of Merit out of the hands of her dear friend the distinquished French actor Jean Piat.

1974 Founder of the Trophy Alexandre Dumas




Juliette Benzoni winner of the CDM Award 2010. It is my way to say thank you, for her generosity to share with her faithful readers, so many souvenirs and for the joy she gave us, writing 86 unforgettable books.

Linda, webmaster


 


photo©linda compagnoni

31 October 2009
the day I met my adored author Juliette


 

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