This is the unique story of Louise Weber, better known as La Goulue. She became the undisputed Queen of the Moulin Rouge cabaret and the most famous dancer in France in the late 19th century. Toulouse Lautrec immortalized her in his world renowned poster and paintings of her dancing at the Moulin Rouge. She was the toast of Montmartre and Paris, her fame was tied to her outrageous dancing of the can-can and she was the highest paid performer of her day.
This book is the first fully researched and detailed study of La Goulue. The author Maryline Martin mined the archives of the Moulin Rouge where she found the actual diary of Louise Weber, and the Archive of the Prefecture of Paris to create this enormously entertaining and important biography. What emerges is a portrait of a fearless woman who broke all codes of conduct for a late 19th century woman. She willingly trampled on the social, moral and religious conventions of her time demanding that women be treated as the equal of men. She created her own legend in her own time.
Having achieved both fame and fortune, in 1895, La Goulue decided to part company with the Moulin Rouge and created her own travelling show as part of a large fair. She invested her fortune in this effort and it turned into a dismal failure. Her show closed down and she disappeared from the public eye. Now an alcoholic, depressed , she sold peanuts and cigarettes on a street corner near the Moulin Rouge. She died in 1929 at the age of 62.and is now buried in the Cimetiere de Montmartre.
Maryline Martin is a well known and accomplished literary journalist whose work focuses on the role of women in society. She has written three books and La Goulue has received wide critical and media acclaim in France. Leonard Rosmarin is a Professor Emeritus at Brock University on Ontario, Canada, the author of sixteen books and numerous articles and an accomplished translator, including two books published by Mosaic Press,Saint-Germain-des-Pres by Gerard Bonal and French Artists in Nazi Occupied France by Werner Lang. He has been decorated twice by the Government of France for outstanding service in the cause of French Letters.