Everything about Juliette Benzoni

her biography, her bibliography and so much more …

Portrait 7

Filed under: 21. Portraits — 29 April, 2009 @ 14:49

s.pngeen on www.leparisien.fr :

i.pnguliette Benzoni, what a passion! by Pierre Vavasseur  (October 2003) :

She is the queen of historical novel, a genre of which the French people are fond. At the age of 83, Juliette Benzoni publishes « Olivier ou les Trésors templiers » (Olivier and the treasures of the Templar Knights), the last volume of her trilogy “Les Chevaliers”. We have met the talkative and happy lady at her home.

” SHAKE the door! “ In this afternoon, at Saint-Mandé, we may shake the small iron door of the garden of Juliette Benzoni’s house, it does not open. ” Shake, shake! “” Enter, have a seat, push the pillows, do you want some coffee? Small cakes? A schnapps? “ It finally opens with a hit of shoulder. The little hilarious lady, at the end of the path, is Juliette. Olivier, her golden retriever, seems to have as much fun as her.

At 83 years old, the historic novelist, the most read in the world – about sixty books, three hundred million of copies sold ! – who publishes “Olivier ou les Trésors templiers”, the last volume of her trilogy “Les Chevaliers“, has such a good health. Her house is clear and rich. In the living room, there is a drawn portrait of De Gaulle, well tidied up books, a meridienne (this sofa where is languided Mrs Récamier in the David’s portrait) but also a wide flat-screen television set. Juliette has some gratitude for television. She did not forget « La caméra explore le temps » or « les Rendez-vous de l’histoire » (French TV old and famous shows) And whereas she offers you to eat some macaroons, she gets carried away about Alain Decaux (he used to produce and present those 2 Tv shows). “That was a revelation! With nothing, this guy sat behind a table, a camera held up at him, kept you in suspense for one hour and a half! “  Her, she would not know how to do it. “The first time I ever gave a conference, it was at Montluçon, to conclude a dinner at Rotary. Right in front of me, there was a lady who slept.” At the school, she was not good with dates. ” I only knew three: 1415, Azincourt; 1515, Marignan; 1815, Waterloo. Dates involve arithmetic, and this is my weakness.”  On the other hand, she has never forgotten when she was 9. “I was at the Fénelon school. I fell on an engraving picture of Jeanne d’Arc on her stake. The shock! I wanted to know more about it and it started like that. When my father saw that I was so interested, he said to me: Read that.  It was “The Three Musketeers” from Dumas that I read right away. After that, I have read all Dulmas’ books. “
« Olivier ou les Trésors templiers » ended a subjet she loves about all. ” We always say the treasure. It is a heresy! There are as many treasures as commanderies. And commanderies, there were over two thousand in France! “ . Here she goes again in her bubble about History. She mentions Philippe le Bel, his policy launched on the tracks of the Templar Knights, goes into details, opens aloud new tracks. And here come again some macaroons. When does she write? ” Every day that God makes, included on Sundays and feast days. I get up at 6:30 am, I walk on the Daumesnil avenue with my dog. At 7:45 am, I go upstairs and work. “ Her next books are already on their way. “Les Joyaux de la Sorcères” (The Jewels of the Witch – 7th adventure of Aldo Morosini) will be about Marie de Mecidis’ mother-in-law. “Then, I shall return to Louis XIII for a book which will be called “Marie des intrigues” : this is the duchess of Chevreuse.”

Something to make one day a big movie? She goes laughing. “I had once an experience in the cinema! My story took place in 1413 at Paris, during the Riots of the University. The director had transposed it into 1968. The first scene was in steam-room with a group of attractive and quite naked girls! My Swedish publisher did not want to leave the set any more and I cried like a fountain. No, no, the cinema, this like doing a conference, that is not for me! “ She accompanies you to the gate, opens it without any trouble. “The way out is simpler.” She still laughs. Juliette Benzoni is a happy author.

 

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