A Paris Apartment, a novel by Michelle Gable

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A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable is the bestselling novel inspired by the discovery of a Parisian apartment shuttered for almost 70 years.

It was a home filled with art of near incalculable value, including a portrait of its former resident, Belle Époque courtesan Marthe de Florian, as painted by Giovanni Boldini. I wondered why Madame de Florian had these things and why her granddaughter locked up the apartment for all that time. Though there are few answers to be found publicly, I decided to “explain” these things from a purely fictional viewpoint in my novel.

 

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Madame de Florian's Paris

Her flat was in the ninth arrondissement, on the Right Bank, near the Opéra Garnier, Folies-Bergères, and Pigalle red light district. This was your colorful Paris, your Paris of writers and artists and filmmakers. All the intellect and debauchery one might want.

Inspiration and Research

Early 2014 brought renewed interest in the abandoned Parisian apartment, in its treasures and its ghosts. Like so many, when I first read of the home back in 2010 I was intrigued by the discovery and wanted to learn more about the people who lived there.

Treasures Found

What are those stacks of papers in the lower left hand corner? In my novel, they’re Marthe de Florian’s journals.

Giovanni Boldini

Giovanni Boldini was the most renowned portraitist of the era and most likely one of Marthe de Florian’s paramours. His previously unknown rendition of the woman was found in the apartment and later sold for 2.1 million euro at auction. He plays a key role in my novel.

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