Marguerite Audoux (1863-1937) was a French novelist. Born Marguerite Donquichote, she took her motherâ¿¿s name, Audoux, in 1895. She was orphaned by age three, following the death of her mother and abandonment by her father. In 1877, she was put to work as a shepherdess and farm worker in the region of Sologne. She moved to Paris in 1881. Desperately poor, she found occasional work as a seamstress and made ends meet with whatever menial labour could be found. Jules Iehl, who wrote under the pen name Michel Yell, introduced Andoux to the Parisian intelligencia. He also encouraged her to write her memoirs. The memoirs fell into the hands of celebrated author Octave Mirbeau and proved so compelling that Mirbeau immediately arranged to have them published. Though success and critical acclaim followed quickly on the heels of the December 1910 publication of Audouxâ¿¿s memoirs, her next book was ten years in the making. The Studio of Marie-Claire, published in 1920, was merely a modest success; none of her subsequent novels - From the Mill to the Town (1926), The Fiancee (1932), and finally Soft Light (1937) matched the success of her bestseller debut.