Piaf's fiery love letters to cyclist sold in Paris

Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:13am EDT
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By Sophie Hardach

PARIS (Reuters Life!) - Dozens of love letters from singer Edith Piaf to a French cyclist, in which she describes her sexual fantasies and vows to quit drinking for him, fetched 55,000 euros ($77,400) at auction in Paris on Thursday.

Piaf, almost as famous for her many love affairs and addictions as for her songs, wrote the previously unseen letters to championship cyclist Louis Gerardin in 1951 and 1952, dedicating her song "Plus bleu que tes yeux" to him.

The collection also includes telegrams, a quick note and even a letter from Gerardin's wife, Bichette, to her husband, calling Piaf a "little monster."

"My darling, I want to tell you that no other man has taken me as much as you, and I truly believe I am making love for the first time," Piaf, who died of cancer at the age of 47 in 1963, wrote in one of the letters.

In others, she vows to give up her wild lifestyle for Gerardin, her "Mr. My Marvel," and turn into a "docile" woman.

"I made an oath in Church that if you came I would never touch another glass of alcohol in my life," she wrote in the series of letters, which end with her marriage to another man, the singer Jacques Pills.

Earlier this year, an equally ardent love letter by Piaf to a Greek actor, telling him "don't let my heart die," sold for 1,500 euros at auction in Greece.

In her letters to Gerardin, she mixes that passionate love with sexual desire, praising the cyclist's thighs and buttocks.   Continued...

<p>A telegram, a letter and a performance program of French chanteuse Edith Piaf are seen before go on the auction block in Athens January 16, 2009. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis</p>