Where Might Christine Have Lived?

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Where Might Christine Have Lived?

Post  Riene on Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:08 pm

Dear historians, I am puzzled with a question and the internet is not helping much.

Where might Christine have lived? If I recall correctly, Leroux had her living with Mama Valerius, but was it in a flat or a house? The 2004 movie implied the ballet girls lived in a sort of dormitory in the Opera House itself, but I know that was not true in real life. As Christine became a principal singer, would she not have lived elsewhere?

Were women in France in the 1880s able to live on their own? As best I remember history classes, women were not legally allowed to sign contracts for renting or buying property, but a husband, father, or perhaps a patron could have secured somewhere for her.

Where did the working women and girls of Paris dwell? Were there supervised dorms, such as for the mill worker girls in America? Where would Madame Giry or La Carlotta or their real-life contemporaries have lived?


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Re: Where Might Christine Have Lived?

Post  Jennie on Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:49 pm

In Leroux, Christine lived with Maman Valerius, in a small house in the Rue Notre-Dame-Des-Victoires.

Working women would lodge in families, or live in dormitories attached to their place of work. Denise in Zola's "Au Bonheur des Dames" for example, lived in a small room in the attics above the department store where she worked. She owned two pairs of blouse sleeves, she would soak one pair in a basin to wash it, and wear the other.

The ballet girls in Leroux also lived in dormitories, Leroux describes it very vividly, a description he "stole" from the memoirs of a manager of the Paris Opéra, called Nestor Roquefort. I've posted about it in another thread...

La Carlotta would most likely have lived in an apartment provided by one of her "patrons" *cough* lovers, in my opinion...

ETA: here's the thread about NEstor Roqueplan, with descriptions of the ballet rats, among other things... http://desertedphans.forumotion.net/t598-interesting-revelations-from-the-memoirs-of-a-theatre-manager-nestor-roquefort-and-leroux


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