Germaine Kieckens

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Germaine Kieckens
Herge and Germaine.jpg
Kieckens (right) with Hergé (left)
Born 1906
Died October 26, 1995 (aged 88–89)[1]
Spouse(s) Hergé

Germaine Kieckens (1906 – October 26, 1995) was a Belgian secretary, the first wife of the Belgian cartoonist Hergé, to whom she was married from 1932 to 1977. They met while she was working as secretary for the Abbé Norbert Wallez, editor of Le XXe Siècle newspaper.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

At the time of her birth, Germaine's parents were relatively elderly, and having lost an earlier child they were particularly overprotective of her.[2] A redhead described as "elegant and popular" by Hergé biographer Pierre Assouline, she obtained work as the secretary for Norbert Wallez.[3] Greatly admiring her boss, whom she looked up to as a father figure, she adopted his fascist political beliefs.[3] It was at the offices of the newspaper that she met Hergé, who was working there as an illustrator, in 1928.[3]

Kieckens was appointed editor of Votre Vingtième, Madame, a supplement for women for which Hergé sometimes drew the cover.[4] She also began writing articles for Le Petit Vingtième using the pseudonym Tantine.[4]

In 1930, Hergé escorted her home from work almost every night, though she expressed little romantic interest in him at the time. Instead she desired an older, or more mature man, such as the Abbé himself.[3][4] Wallez however encouraged the two to enter into a relationship,[3] and one evening at the Taverne du Palace she indicated to Hergé that she would be interested in a relationship.[4] Wallez encouraged his single employees to marry, and one day he ordered them all to find a spouse.[3][4] Following the syndication of Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Wallez recognised its continued commercial viability, in September 1930 publishing it in book form through the Brussels-based Éditions du Petit Vingtième at a print-run of 10,000.[5] The first 500 copies were numbered and signed by Hergé using Tintin's signature, with Snowy's paw print being drawn next to it by Kieckens.[6][3]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ geneanet.org
  2. ^ Peeters 2012, p. 348.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Assouline 2009, p. 33.
  4. ^ a b c d e Peeters 2012, p. 48.
  5. ^ Peeters 2012, p. 40.
  6. ^ Peeters 1989, p. 27; Lofficier & Lofficier 2002, p. 21; Peeters 2012, p. 41.

Bibliography[edit]