Valtesse de la Bigne, ses ami.e.s, ses amours, son testament

Émilie-Louise Delabigne, known as countess Valtesse de La Bigne, was a French courtesan and demi-mondaine. This brief lecture is presented as follow : “How to approach the history of affects from a materialist archive? The will of the famous courtesan, Valtesse de la Bigne (1848-1910), who distributes her immense fortune, is a captivating and transgressive example. It reveals how the woman who inspired the Nana of Zola, disinherited her biological family in favor of elective friendships; and how her assumed bisexuality, blurred the boundaries between friendship, love and sexuality. Gabrielle Houbre is a historian at Paris Diderot University (Cerilac / GHES), specialist in social and cultural history of the 19th century and gender issues”.

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