I have lived in the south of the Ardeche since 1993, the homeland of Henri Charrière, also known as Papillon. I have been so fascinated by this figure that, thanks to the geographic proximity, I decided in 2001 to make an extensive search on his life and his life path.
At that moment I didn’t know the importance this inquiry on a multi-faceted man with such an extraordinary life path would have on my life.
Particularly, I discovered that many people all over the world who read about Henri Charrière barely knew him properly despite his reputation. A disputed reputation which seems to have ended with his death in 1973. After the success of his novel PAPILLON in 1969 and the controversies of the early seventies, Henri Charrière slowly started to be forgotten.
Judging his role as an essential part of our history, both because of the time he spent in a penal colony and the fact that his novel was one of the best literary and media successes of the 20th century, I will endeavor to herewith follow his life story with all the available facts.
In 2005 after four years of extensive research, I wrote the complete historical, social and phychological biography of Henri Charrière : PAPILLON LIBERE. Since I have become the depository of Henri and Rita Charriere’s private archives. I have given lectures on the subject.
Despite the release of PAPILLON LIBERE some years ago, I still feel that most of the media are still conveying a false image of Henri Charrière, often biased and grotesque, and that they have obiously not read my book.
In consideration of these facts I found it necessary to create a website with the results of my research, this would certainly be more condensed but available to a wider public.
May those pages allow you to discover the facts of Henri Charrière’s life.
As holder of his private archives, I guarantee to the reader the accuracy of the information contained on this website.
I have done this for the sole purpose of veracity.
For his sake first of all. Then, for his family and his relatives, and last but not least for everyone.