Letters from Georges Simenon

Writer Georges Simenon (1903-1989), master of the detective story, “father” of the famous Inspector Maigret and the most translated Belgian author, corresponded by letter with Raymond Ziza over several decades. Ziza managed the Dubonnet factory in Sète, producer of the Dubonnet aperitif that was much in fashion from the 1930s. In his letters, Simenon requested short-term loans of money, as well as recounting his daily life and trips, current stories and future plans.

The lot comprises 73 letters sent to Raymond Ziza between 1928 and 1962. This was a period that saw the creation of Inspector Maigret (1930), life during World War II, Simenon’s years in North America (Canada and the USA, from 1945 to 1955) and then his final move to Switzerland. 28 of the letters are handwritten and the others are typed, but all are signed. The lot comprises some 220 pages. The unprecedented collection provides precious information on writer’s career and his prolific output.

This acquisition by the Heritage Fund completes the donation previously made to the King Baudouin Foundation by John Simenon, the writer’s son, of his collection of archival documents relating to his father’s work.