La Fille Compliquée

This is the story of Parisian A-Emme. Nobody really knows who she was. Her real name was probably Anne-Marianne Boulanger, born in or around 1868; but the fire at Paris town hall in 1871 destroyed her records. We have just a few facts: snippets of a correspondence with a young man (lover?) by which we know that she lived in the ninth arrondissement from 1896 onwards; apparently she eventually moved to the Rue du Temple, for her name is mentioned in the diary of a lady who might have been her neighbor. She seems to have reached a very old age – a hundred years or more . . .

Nor does anyone know how she made a living. Was she a prostitute? A beggar? Or just a girl who fell for the wrong kind of men?

Annemaaike Bakker is A-Emme.