Dec. 29, 2020

Judithe Little - THE CHANEL SISTERS

Judithe Little - THE CHANEL SISTERS

Judithe discusses her novel The Chanel Sisters, why she chose Antoinette to tell the sisters’ story, how Coco Chanel’s early years influenced her designs and fabrics, the unique research Judithe conducted, and much more.


Judithe discusses her novel The Chanel Sisters, why she chose Antoinette to tell the sisters’ story, how Coco Chanel’s early years influenced her designs and fabrics, the unique research Judithe conducted, and much more.

The Chanel Sisters can be purchased at Murder by the Book. 

Judithe’s 2 recommended reads are:

  1. The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull
  2. The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer

Thanks to We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall for sponsoring this episode.  You can purchase the book here.  

If you enjoy reading historical fiction and want to listen to more episodes like this one, try Hazel Gaynor, Tori Whitaker, Susie Orman Schnall, Kristin Harmel, Natalie Jenner, and Sadeqa Johnson.

 

Transcript

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

Antoinette, Coco, Chanel, people, book, convent, women, nuns, fascinating, orphanage, story, wore, Paris, read, fabrics, clothing, France, thought, podcast, poverty

SPEAKERS

Cindy Burnett, Judithe Little

 

Cindy Burnett  00:00

This episode is sponsored by Susie Orman Schnall's novel, We Came Here to Shine which is available now, and the link is in the show notes. Fans of Fiona Davis and Beatrice Williams will love We Came Here to Shine, uplifting historical fiction set at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Schnall takes readers behind the scenes of the fascinating World's Fair as they follow the journeys of two bold and ambitious women: a glamorous aquacade swimmer and a plucky journalist. Newly option for film, We Came Here to Shine was named a top read by outlets including Parade, Travel and Leisure, and Good Morning America. Susie was my first podcast interview, and you can learn more about the book by listening to that episode. This is the Thoughts from a Page Podcast where I interview authors about their latest works. My name is Cindy Burnett, and I love to talk about books. If you have any comments or questions you want me to ask authors or feedback for me, feel free to contact me through my website thoughtsfromapage.com. Today I am interviewing Judithe Little. Judithe grew up in Virginia and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. After studying at the Institute of European Studies and the Institute Catholique in Paris, France and interning at the U.S. Department of State. She earned a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was on the Editorial Board of the Journal of International Law and a Dillard Fellow. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and three children, where she is working on her third novel. When she's not writing or practicing law, Judithe enjoys riding horses reading scouring the fields during Round Top antiques week and volunteering. Judithe's new book, The Chanel Sisters, was one of my favorite reads of 2020. It is on my She Reads 2020 Best Historical Fiction list, my Top Reads of 2020 list, and is a Buzz Reads January Top Five Pick. I absolutely loved it. I hope you enjoy our interview. Welcome, Judy. I am so glad you're here today to talk with me about The Chanel Sisters. How's everything going?

 

Judithe Little  02:00

Everything's good. How are you doing Cindy?

 

Cindy Burnett  02:02

I'm doing great. I can't believe we're finally here with your book coming out this month. I feel like we have been talking about it since, it's been over a year I think, so I'm just happy that we're here and the book is coming out and everybody else is going to get to read your fabulous story about Chanel.

 

Judithe Little  02:19

I can't believe it's almost here either.

 

Cindy Burnett  02:21

So why don't we start out with you talking a little bit about the story. Just tell me the basic plotline.

 

Judithe Little  02:26

Sure. So I think most people know that there have already been a lot of books written about Coco Chanel, a lot of biographies and a lot of even fictional accounts. So this story is different because it's actually told from the point of view of Coco's younger sister Antoinette, and it's Antoinette story, but it's also Coco's story as seen through Antoinette's perspective, and it's really about their early years together. They were raised in a convent orphanage, which is where they lived for most of their youth. And up until they were about 18, they were raised by nuns as charity cases after their mother died, and their father abandoned them. He left them at this orphanage in the middle of nowhere in France, and they never saw him again. So it's a story of how they managed to bring themselves up out of poverty and make a place for themselves in the world. The story goes from the convent to Moulins, France to Vichy, France, and then finally to Paris, where they start a tiny hat shop on the Rue Cambon. The novel ends in 1921 so it's really about the first half, or the first third, I would say of Coco's life and about the founding of the Chanel Empire as we know it today. So it's, it's kind of a mix of a coming-of-age story, a rags-to-riches story, a story of sisters, a love story and a story of World War 1. I think a lot of people don't know that Coco came from such poverty and that she was raised in a convent. And so I know I didn't. I thought she kind of came out of the womb, glamorous and with a string of pearls around her neck. She actually was born out of wedlock and in a poor house.

 

Cindy Burnett  04:23

Well, that was something that she kept hidden, right? I mean, she didn't speak about that during her life at all.

 

Judithe Little  04:28

That's right. She totally lied about her past. Which is another reason I wanted this story to be from Antoinette's point of view because she would be a more reliable narrator. She was there. She knew everything about what Coco tried to hide. I think the reason that she did lie about her past was because she never got over the her father's abandonment and that was so hurtful to her. That if she admitted to people that her father abandoned her, or that she was raised in a comment orphanage, she would have to admit that her father abandoned her. So she came up with a story. It wasn't a glamorous story. But she said she was raised by old maid aunts in the countryside. And if you think about it, that's nuns in the countryside. But she just could never tell the truth about the convent orphanage and the fact that she was a charity case and the fact that her father just disappeared.

 

Cindy Burnett  05:24

I thought you did a wonderful job of portraying at the school in Moulins what it was like for her with the charity cases, and then the rich girls and the huge distinction between them. That must have left a lasting impression on both girls too.

 

Judithe Little  05:37

It did. They spent many years in a convent orphanage where everybody was an orphan and everybody was poor. And when they got a little bit older, they were moved to a pensionnat, which is a boarding school basically, run by nuns in Moulins, France. And that was the first time they were ever exposed to who they really were and what their place in society was. Because there, the girls were divided into two different classes, there were basically the haves and the have nots. And Coco, of course, was a have not and Antoinette as well. And one thing there is they, whether you were have or have not was reflected in the uniform that you wore. So the charity cases like Coco, and Antoinette or sort of rough wool clothing that was ill fitting, whereas the rich girls wore much nicer uniforms. And so Coco learned there really that what you wear defines who you are. And that had a big impact on her.

 

Cindy Burnett  06:42

It definitely seemed to, and I thought you portrayed that very well, because as I was reading about that, and then how they kind of made some changes to their uniforms to try to make them fit better and fit in a little better, but also that it must have led to a kind of a lifelong interest in all of it. And I thought that you did a great job telling that part of their story.

 

Judithe Little  07:01

Yeah, it's really interesting because she was known for the fit of clothing, and she was very particular about fit. And I wonder if that's something that she learned there, that the fit of clothing, even if it's a poor quality, clothing can make all the difference. Because she was also very well known and one of the reasons she became rich and famous is because during World War 1, when there was such a shortage of fabric, she used fabrics that no one else had ever used before. She used jersey, which was considered a very common fabric, and it had been used to make men's underwear. But she took that and made suits and dresses out of it. And everybody wanted them. And of course, she made sure they fit perfectly and were sewn exquisitely. And then she also during World War 1, the very fancy chinchilla furs that women wore in those days was unavailable. And so she used rabbit fur which was a peasant fur. So she had all these socialites and aristocratic women wearing rabbit fur and peasant fabrics and this woolly kind of wool that she liked as well. So there's kind of an irony in that. And I've always wondered if a little part of her thought that was funny.

 

Cindy Burnett  08:18

Yes, she was laughing on the inside. That's interesting that it started that early and even with the various fabrics. I always think of it as a little bit later. So that's interesting.

 

Judithe Little  08:27

She was very good at using what she had. And when she first left the care of the nuns, the styles for women then were just very overdone and fancy and so many accessories and fabrics. And she just couldn't afford that she didn't have the money for that. And so she made what she could. She borrowed clothing from the men that she was with, and she made very simple clothing. And she also realized that in this way, it was much easier for a woman to move. So she really longed for sort of a freedom from the constraints of society, freedom from the convent. And I think that manifested itself in the clothing that she designed and that she wore. She made it for herself first, because she couldn't afford as I said the more expensive clothing, and she also realized that she could move about. And she rode horses, and she really dressed to live rather than live to dress. That was sort of her manifesto so to speak.

 

Cindy Burnett  09:34

Well tell me about your research because that had to be fascinating, and it probably was almost going down all these different rabbit holes trying to decide what to use, what not to use.

 

Judithe Little  09:44

Well, I wish it was like that because for Antoinette there, one of the reasons I wanted to write about her is because there was not a lot known about her at all, and there still isn't. She has not been a focus of Coco's biographers. I mean, there's so much about about Coco to write that there's probably not room for anybody to have really examined Antoinette. And so what was interesting to me in researching her was that I discovered that I think she's been overlooked as having a pretty major role in the founding of the Chanel Empire. And one thing that the fact is that she was there in 1910, in Paris, when Coco opened her first shop. Her name is on the ledger book so we know she was working with Coco. And she was a big part of their Paris store. And the next boutique they opened was in Deville. Or they opened another one in Biarritz. And Antoinette was in charge of the Biarritz boutique, which was the first place where Chanel sold couture. And it was also the biggest moneymaker for the Chanel business at the time. And with the amount of money that that boutique earned, Coco was able to pay off Boy Capel, who was her lover, but who was also who financed her, her business up until that point. And one thing in my research I found was, I had looked at newspapers, like I'd really scoured old French newspapers, hoping to find just mentions of Coco and her sister, not realizing at all that I was kind of looking at it from a perspective of our time now. But back then the people who were mentioned in the society pages of the newspaper were society, and Coco and Antoinette were not considered society at all. They were the kind of people that, you know, didn't get written up about, even though of course, she's everywhere now. Much to my frustration, I really couldn't find anything at all about either one of them. I don't think Coco really hit the social pages until the 1920s, when she was rich and famous by then. But what I did end up finding was these references to Antoinette in one part of the newspapers, where there's this little piece that they had, that would talk about a few people coming and going from different cities in France, and it would just say, to Paris, and then it would list a few people's names or to Deville or to Biarritz. And I noticed that her name kept popping up in that part of the newspaper, and I couldn't figure it out for a while. And then I finally realized that she was telling her clients and the Chanel clients where she was going to be, which told me that she was really kind of a force herself. That these clients of Chanel were very wealthy women, probably divas, hard to deal with. And she, this little girl from a convent orphanage, was in that world advising these women on what to wear. So sometimes it was the little things in research. I didn't find a lot of stuff, but the little things I found would help give a clear picture of Antoinette and her part in the business with her sister.

 

Cindy Burnett  13:03

That's fascinating that she would actually put in the newspaper where she was going to be, you know, it's hard to imagine these days, and I'm not sure I ever realized that was a thing.

 

Judithe Little  13:13

I had no idea. I mean, I was I was like, Is there someone I can ask, like who would know this? Because it wasn't a social thing at all. It wasn't bragging about I'm going to be here and it was just a notice. It was just a pure notice. There was also Monte Carlo, she would go to Monte Carlo, she would go to the south of France. But it makes sense, and she was also, I think, she was a lot nicer than Coco.

 

Cindy Burnett  13:36

So everybody wanted to deal with her because she was going to be much more pleasant.

 

Judithe Little  13:39

I think she was much more pleasant. Yes, and flattering and Coco, she just couldn't bring herself to do it really like she was so thin. And she would just tell women all the time, well, you need to lose weight to look good in my clothes. You know, which I don't think goes over well with a lot of people. So I think that Antoinette was probably much more popular and a little bit nicer than Coco. And Coco said herself that she even from the very beginning, she did not like to sell her clothes. She would hide in the back. She did not want to do it. So she brought Antoinette along specifically for that task.

 

Cindy Burnett  14:12

I remember one portion of your book where Antoinette was in the front of the shop and Coco was in the back and somebody came in asking for Coco, and she just said she's not here and said something or the other and than Coco was in the back snorting like she'd overheard the conversation. But she probably just couldn't ever, I mean she seemed to have a lot of pride, and she just couldn't bring herself to sort of kowtow to these people. At least that was sort of the impression I got.

 

Judithe Little  14:34

I think that's true. She did have a lot of pride. And I think interestingly, the myth about Coco is that she woke up and said, I'm going to be a fashion designer, but she didn't really want to do that. That was not who she wanted to be. She wanted to be on the stage. She really wanted to be a singer. And she tried that but she did not have the talent. And it's funny because for the rest of her life, you'll find little references here and there where she was taking voice lessons. And I think even up until her 60s, she was taking voice lessons. It was just this dream of hers that never came true. So she started making hats for herself, because again, she didn't like the overdone hats, and she couldn't afford the overdone hats at the time. So she would make these simple little boaters is what they were called, they're like little straw hats. And she would just put a simple ribbon around them. They're very different, and so people would look at that, and they caught on. And what she made for herself was what she ended up selling, because everybody would stop her and ask her where she got that. So she came about the fashion business sort of after having no other real option. And I think at first she had trouble actually believing that she could sell what she made, and that, and asking people to pay for it. Of course, she got over that.

 

Cindy Burnett  15:59

That was another thing that I learned from your book; I did not realize she had wanted to be a performer until I was reading your story and learning that that just wasn't really a viable option for her. But how disappointed she was that it was not going to work out.

 

Judithe Little  16:12

Yeah, so the interesting thing about the times that they lived in is they were so different from how we live now. But for women like them coming from the very poor background they came from, there were not very many options for them to get out of poverty. And that's one reason the nuns taught them to sew, and they were trying to give them a method to take care of themselves, but still within very close to the poverty level, because that's how it was you were born into poverty, and you stayed in poverty. And so for women like Coco and Antoinette to find a way to get out of that, the two main ways were to become the mistress of a wealthy man or to become a star of the stage. And a lot of times that overlapped. They couldn't make a good marriage. Wealthy men did not marry poor women; they didn't even really marry for love. They all married as a sort of business arrangement. So it's natural that Coco would have looked to the stage as a way for her to get out of poverty. She would not have thought of I'm going to be a fashion designer, because a lot of the fashion designers were men at the time, although there were women too.

 

Cindy Burnett  17:25

Well, and was that even really a thing? I mean, were there a lot of fashion designers at that point? Or had that not become a thing yet?

 

Judithe Little  17:33

There were and what's so interesting is there were, but we don't know about them today. But we still know about Coco. You know, she's still everywhere. But there was a man, Paul Poiret, who dressed a lot of the women, but he was very costume-like. He dressed them in harem pants, and he had them wearing hobble skirts, which literally would hobble them. Coco hated his clothing, because she was all about freedom and movement and women being able to move, and he was pretty much the exact opposite. So there were some other female designers who, but it was really for the rich, evening gowns and that kind of thing.

 

Cindy Burnett  18:12

Yes, I guess that makes sense. There would have had to have been people designing clothes for the very rich.

 

Judithe Little  18:17

Yes, that was the days where women would go from all over the world, they would go to Paris to order their spring wardrobe. And then it would be shipped to them back in London or wherever they were,

 

Cindy Burnett  18:29

I guess I just don't think of, I can't mean those people. And I think you're right. I mean, there were those houses. And I'm sure they were very famous at the time, but most of them have not lasted until now, like Coco has.

 

Judithe Little  18:40

Yeah, they haven't. It's pretty interesting trying to figure out why she has endured her fashions for this long. And I think a lot of it has to do with the simplicity of it. And her philosophy again, of women should dress to live and not live to dress. And so I mean, I don't have a Chanel suit. I wish I did. But I mean if I thought about putting on a Chanel suit, I would think, Okay, I'm done. I'm out the door. And I know I look good, and I don't have to think about it anymore today. I think that was her aim was to give people a wardrobe they could wear and not have to think about it really in the mornings or all day long. They just put it on, which also in a sense goes back to her convent roots where they wore a uniform every day. So in a way you can think of that Chanel suit as a uniform.

 

Cindy Burnett  19:30

Okay, that's fascinating. And that's, I was just going to ask you about your Author's Note and talking about some of the things that you felt she probably got from the orphanage in terms of the interlocking Cs and the black and white of the nuns' habits. So it seemed like that all obviously left a lasting impression but that she incorporated a lot of that into what she did. And I would also wonder if some of her long lasting is the logo, such a recognizable logo, and it's so easy to put everywhere. And it just seems to me that that sort of helped get her name out there. And that recognizable logo, everybody sees it and knows immediately what it is.

 

Judithe Little  20:07

I know it's so funny, she didn't start the logo until, like in the early 1920s. She didn't start using that. But it's so funny to me because you see it everywhere now. And everybody just thinks of it as luxury. And they don't realize that it came from leaded glass windows of the convent orphanage and the sanctuary. The windows there had overlapping circles, and within those overlapping circles were these interlocking Cs of the Chanel logo. So if you look at the Chanel logo now, I see the convent orphanage, and I see where she came from, and how she worked her way up from that to becoming the Coco Chanel, the icon that we all think of today. But everything she did, all of her styles and designs and even through today, the people who have taken over for her you can see the the black and white and the the peasanty-type of fabrics. And the chainlink belts that she made; the nuns actually wore their rosaries as belts around their waists. And so those belts she made are very similar to the nuns' rosary belts. Like there's all these clues right in plain sight about her past that she lied about. If you look really closely, you can see them.

 

Cindy Burnett  21:27

I just loved that. I mean, that was probably one of my favorite parts of the story was just learning some of that. And obviously how even though she tried to hide where she came from, it must have stayed in the forefront of her mind for her entire life.

 

Judithe Little  21:40

I think it did. She later in life, and this is outside the scope of the book, because again, that ends in 1921. But in 1929-1930, she started building a home, second home in the south of France. And she incorporated all of these elements from the convent orphanage, like the staircase is a complete reproduction of the one in the convent orphanage. And she even had a very casual style there that she didn't have in Paris. And it's almost like she just kind of recreated the place she grown up in in this second home. Of course, nobody knew that except her.

 

Cindy Burnett  22:16

Oh, that's just so interesting to me. Well, I'm so glad that you did all of this research, and unveiled all of this so everybody can learn more about her and, and her early life. You see so much about her, I feel like she shows up in all these World War 2 stories. And you know, you hear about a lot of her later life when her fashion was so prominent. But it's fascinating to learn about her early years.

 

Judithe Little  22:38

Yeah, I think I mean, the early years were really what made her and what defined her and everything she did. And I think particularly the abandonment by her father was what really made her character. She was searching her whole life really for adoration, I think, and for the confirmation that she was worthy of love. And I don't think she ever really succeeded in finding that. And she also learned early on with her mother's death, because her father was always off, he was never around. So the mother was always trying to feed the kids and was always working very hard, and ended up dying very young of consumption. And so I think Coco learned early on that relying on someone else can literally kill you, as her mother did. And so she just always had this instinct to not be able to rely on anybody else; that really drove her in trying to make money. So some people have commented why the book doesn't address her World War 2 and her affiliation with the Nazi; she had a Nazi lover at the time. But if you look at her past, I think you can see, in some ways how, why she might have done that, because she was definitely a survivor. And she was also an opportunist.

 

Cindy Burnett  23:55

No, I think that's true, and you don't even get involved in her later years, because you stop at 1921, which I really liked, because like I said, there's so much written about her later. It was really fascinating to learn about the early years. Your point about family, so that's something that comes up again and again in this podcast, when people are telling their stories. I just think no matter whether you like your family or don't like them, they end up leaving a long lasting impression and end up altering potentially the way people view the world depending on what their upbringing was like.

 

Judithe Little  24:25

Yeah, it's funny. Some people say the only thing Chanel's father ever gave her was his name. But that's why I wanted to also tell Antoinette's story because Antoinette could see Coco kind of in this different light and the things that she did that motivated her, all came from this sort of empty spot within her of having lost her father and trying to seek out love and worthiness.

 

Cindy Burnett  24:53

Well, mentioning Antoinette kind of leads me into my next question, which was how you picked the title, The Chanel Sisters, for this one?

 

Judithe Little  25:00

So the title, The Chanel Sisters, was really what I started calling it from the beginning. And it's not particularly poetic, but it is a book about the Chanel sisters. And we wanted it to have the name Chanel in it. And it just seemed an appropriate name for the book. Luckily, we didn't have a lot of arguments or lists of names and trying to figure out what to call it, which can be very difficult because I did have that with my first book, but The Chanel Sisters was just meant to be I guess.

 

Cindy Burnett  25:33

It's the perfect title, because you do want Chanel in the title, but then also it lets you know that it's about someone other than just Coco. And I think a lot of people don't even know she had a sister let alone another sister. And so it's perfect, because that will intrigue people to pick it up. And that cover. Oh my gosh, I can remember actually you and I were in Jefferson, Texas. We were at that event, and you had gotten in the different covers. And we were looking at them on your phone. And I just remember thinking that is fabulous.

 

Judithe Little  26:01

I know that's so funny that we were there together. But yeah, I love it. I think it's a great cover. I think it represents the book very well. And of course it has the Eiffel Tower, which I think some people are like, oh, another book with the Eiffel Tower. But I love the Eiffel Tower. I actually collect Eiffel Towers. So I am always drawn to a book with the Eiffel Tower on it. I don't care if it's been used before. I love it.

 

Cindy Burnett  26:24

Well, and I don't think that's the thing that really stands out anyway, you know. I think her face and the colors of it in the black and white, especially when you talk about that at the end. I just think it's all relevant. But I mean, I don't mind the Eiffel Tower on a cover either. So I think it's perfect. Thinking of the Pulpwood Queens makes me think, that was 1000 years ago. Doesn't that just seem like it was forever? I think that was probably the last thing like that I did before we went into lockdown.

 

Judithe Little  26:50

I know. I think you're right. It is so weird to think about how we were all sitting right next to each other and talking to each other without masks and all in this little convention-area room. Yeah, so the Pulpwod Queens Girlfriend Weekend is virtual this year, which will be a lot of fun, because a lot more people can actually access it and partake.

 

Cindy Burnett  27:12

And a lot more authors can come to because it's a little hard to get to Jefferson, Texas. So definitely that is an upside to some of this craziness is that the virtual events from all over, more people can access them, more authors can participate. You learn about more people that way? That is definitely a silver lining.

 

Judithe Little  27:31

Definitely.

 

Cindy Burnett  27:32

Well, are you working on anything at the present that you would like to share with me?

 

Judithe Little  27:36

I am; I'm working on another novel. And it's, this time it will be set in 1920s and 1930s Paris; it is also similar to The Chanel Sisters in that it's told from the point of view of a woman, not a relative, but a woman who is very close to Coco Chanel. But it's, it's her story again. And she was a very fascinating woman who has been lost to history, pretty much forgotten, and I want to bring her story to light.

 

Cindy Burnett  28:07

Oh, that's so interesting. I can't wait to hear more about it. Did you learn about her when you were doing the research for this story?

 

Judithe Little  28:15

I did. Yes, exactly. Her name kept popping up in the research. And she has an unusual name. And I thought who is this woman? And I think that she was actually calling out to me, and saying what about me? Why is Coco getting all the attention? I should have my own book. And so she is going to have one.

 

Cindy Burnett  28:38

I feel like there's a trend to tell these unknown women's stories. And I just love that because there are so many stories about men, and you just don't always hear about the unknown women. And so I love it when people are highlighting them.

 

Judithe Little  28:51

I do too. I could read these stories forever. I love learning things that I didn't know before and about people that I didn't know. I just find it all so fascinating.

 

Cindy Burnett  29:01

I agree. I think that's why I like historical fiction so much because you do, you, you're reading and enjoying a story, and you're immersed in it. But you're also coming out the other side with all sorts of facts about people you didn't know before.

 

Judithe Little  29:12

Yeah, there's so much I mean, there's just so much out there that we don't know about. It's, it's never ending. It's a continual resource of entertainment.

 

Cindy Burnett  29:22

I agree completely. Well, before we wrap up, have you been reading anything that you really liked that you'd like to tell me about?

 

Judithe Little  29:28

I have. Well, speaking of women from the past, I did read recently Bryn Turnbull's The Woman Before Wallis, which I loved. I didn't know there was a woman before Wallis. So I found that fascinating. And of course it also involves the Vanderbilts and what isn't fascinating about that? And then I also recently read, it came out I think last year maybe, but The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer, and she wrote a book about Lee Miller, the photographer, and Man Ray, which I was also really intrigued by, because I'd always heard about Man Ray. And I'd always heard of Lee Miller. But to be honest, I had absolutely no idea who they were or what they were really about. And so it was educating and entertaining. It also took place in Paris in the 1930s, which is a time that I also didn't know a lot about in Paris then. But it's really fascinating. And now I can say, I know who Man Ray and Lee Miller were.

 

Cindy Burnett  30:32

The Age of Light was one of my favorite books last year. And I was very familiar with Man Ray, but I actually had never heard Lee Miller's name. So I loved learning about her. To me, that's another story where the man is so popular and well known, but you don't know kind of the woman behind him. And in that situation, truly, because I guess she probably did some things that he then took credit for. So I just loved that book. And I love that cover. And then I love Bryn's book too, The Woman Before Wallis. I was the same way I didn't know there was a woman before Wallis; I didn't know she was a sister-in-law to the Vanderbilts. So that whole story was just completely fascinating.

 

Judithe Little  31:05

Yeah, totally. And of course, the Duke of Windsor when he's in a story, I'm just fascinated. I still don't think I can quite figure him out. But it's always interesting to read about the lifestyle that he led.

 

Cindy Burnett  31:21

I agree completely. And the part that always sticks with me the most about him is that he would just show up at Thelma's house with her spouse and children there. That's always mind boggling to me.

 

Judithe Little  31:33

I know it was a different time, that's for sure. The things they, that were acceptable to them and that they would tolerate and that he could get away with were just really fascinating.

 

Cindy Burnett  31:42

Yeah, for sure. Well, as always, I love talking with you. And I so appreciate your taking the time to come on the Thoughts from a Page Podcast, Judy. I really enjoyed it. And I can't wait for everybody to read The Chanel Sisters.

 

Judithe Little  31:54

Well, thank you. Thanks for having me. I love your podcast. I listen to it all the time. So it is very special for me to actually be on it.

 

Cindy Burnett  32:01

Yay. Well, thank you again. And I can't wait to hear all of the feedback about your book once it's out in the world.

 

Judithe Little  32:08

Thank you. Thank you so much, Cindy.

 

Cindy Burnett  32:12

Thank you so much for listening to my podcast. If you liked this episode, and I hope you did. Please follow me on Instagram and Pinterest at @thoughtsfromapage, tell all of your friends about the podcast and rate it wherever you listen to your podcasts. I would really appreciate it. Judithe's book can be purchased at Murder by the Book where I work part time, and the link is in the show notes. Thanks to Susie Orman Schnall for sponsoring this episode, and thanks to K.P. Regan for the sound editing. I hope you will tune in for future episodes.