Clémentine Clattaux was born on 5 March 1865 in Chamousey near Charmes in Lorraine, Eastern France. During the late 19th and early 20th century she was one of the most famously celebrated “bearded ladies” in Europe.
In 2005 her private memoirs were discovered in a garage sale and were bought for “a very modest sum” by Roland Marchal, a second-hand dealer and collector from Bellefontaine in the Vosges. Written in violet ink in a school exercise book and decorated with spectacular photographs and press cuttings from the period, Clementine, who was believed not to have been able to write very well, dictated her memoirs to Pol Ramber, a reporter from the local newspaper, La Libert de l’Est, in the 1930s. The text is written in his hand and is signed by him.
The 50-page document provides a fascinating insight into the life of an extraordinary woman who, far from suffering from her generous abundance facial hair, took great delight in it and used it to her advantage.