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Liane de Pougy

Born Anne-Marie Chassaigne in 1869 near the town of Tours she married Armand Pourpe, a naval officer, after becoming pregnant by him while still at her convent school, aged 16. She soon left her violent husband to go to Paris. Their son, Marc Poupre, born 1886 was brought up by his grandmother. She was a dancer at the Folies Bergere in the 1890s and had occasional acting parts but it was in the demi-monde she rose to fame under the name of Liane de Pougy.
As a runaway teenage mother, celebrity courtesan, and in later life a princess, a fundraiser for disabled children and, finally, a Dominican lay sister, Liane de Pougy led an extraordinary life. As a writer of six novels, published at the turn of the twentieth century, she vividly captures the spirit of a particular age and society. She died in Lausanne in December 1950, aged 81.

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