Sidonie Gabrielle Claudine Colette was born in St.-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, France, on January 28, 1873. When she was 16 years old, Colette's family moved to Chatillon-Coliquy where she met and married the ambitious young novelist Henri Gauthier-Villars. Colette and her husband collaborated on a series of stories fashioned after Colette's escapades as a young girl in Burgundy. Under the pseudonym of "Willy," they produced the financially successful series of Claudine novels between 1900-1904. Best remembered for her 1944 novel Gigi, some of Colette's other books include The Vagabond, Cheri, and The Last of Cheri. After divorcing in 1906, Colette supported herself in the music halls of Paris until she married writer Henri de Jouvenel in 1910. Continuing her work as a novelist, Colette also worked as a journalist, contributing to such magazines as Vogue and Le Matin. In 1945, Colette became the first, and only, woman ever elected to the Goncourt Academy. Colette died on August 3, 1954. Colette was given a formal state funeral by the French government.
Patrick Leigh Fermor was born in London, England on February 11, 1915. During World War II, he was the architect of the kidnapping of the commander of the German garrison on Crete. He wrote several books including A Time of Gifts, Between the Woods and the Water, The Traveller's Tree, The Violins of Saint-Jacques, Mani, and Roumeli. He was also a translator. He received a military OBE in 1943. He died on June 10, 2011 at the age of 96.