Diabolique: A World of Wicker, Part One

On Diabolique, I’m resuming my previously stalled dream of writing about pretty much everything to do with Emmanuelle in a series titled A World of Wicker. Part one, “The Life and Myth of Emmanuelle,” looks at the life of the “real-life Emmanuelle,” Marayat Rollet-Andriane, and the infamous book attributed to her (but written by her husband).

Before there was Emmanuelle, however, there was Emmanuelle. Emmanuelle Arsan, to be precise. Marayat Rollet-Andriane to be even more precise. Born Marayat Bibidh in Bangkok in January 1932, she was the “real-life Emmanuelle,” the one on whose life Emmanuelle was based and which she purportedly wrote, or at least contributed to. She was a stunning beauty with a sharp intellect, boundless curiosity, and an uninhibited spirit. With her husband, French diplomat Louis-Jacques Rollet-Andriane, she cut a path through the international jet-set that made her an icon of sexual liberation. And yet we know so little about her, and probably half of what we think we know is hearsay and legend. She remains an enigma despite how much has written about her. She has transcended into the realm of the mythological.

Full article: A World of Wicker: The Life and Myth of Emmanuelle

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