Willy de Spens – French Writer – 1911-1989

Willy de Spens d’Estignols

(February 17, 1911, Bordeaux – March 25, 1989, Estignols-par-Aurice) is a French writer.


Willy Louis Marie de Spens Estignols is the eldest son of Paul Spens Estignols and Marie Louise Pairier-Wolodkowicz, it is the 14th Baron Estignols. He is the descendant of a Scottish feudal family who came to France in 1450 with a captain of the 24 archers of the Scottish bodyguards.

Willy de Spens d’Estignols is one of the creators of the literary movement “the Hussars” where notably distinguished his friends Roger Nimier, Antoine Blondin, Kléber Haedens, Jacques Laurent (who also wrote under the pseudonym of Cécil Saint-Laurent), Jacques Chardonne, Paul Morand, Marcel Jouhandeau, Jean Giono, Henry de Montherlant, André Fraigneau and Robert Poulet . His main works are his memoirs (Gray Spring, Last Summers, Le Hussard Despite Him, The Law of the winners) and Grain de beauté which won the Deux Magots prize in 1957. He also signed numerous works under the pseudonyms: “Philippe Massart”, “Ludovic Prebois” and wrote signed books as “nègre” by Aimable and Joffo.


He married three times: the first on October 22, 1943 in Marseille with Monique Senez, born on February 20, 1924 in Marseille, daughter of Bernard Senez and Marie Guigou, marriage dissolved on June 2, 1949by judgment of the civil court of the Seine; the second on September 5, 1953 in the 14th arrondissement of Paris with Josette Henouil, born October 22, 1923, daughter of Jean-Baptiste Henouil, industrialist, and Odette Royer, marriage dissolved on March 26, 1954 by judgment of the civil court of the Seine; the third on November 4, 1958 in the 14th arrondissement of Paris with Odile Guilhot, born December 10, 1913 in Agen and died in Saint-Sever on July 8, 2000, daughter of Émile Guilhot, banker, and Marie Lannelongue, widow of Jean Duplantier. He is without posterity from his three marriages.

He is buried in the Notre-Dame de Lagastet chapel in Aurice.


  • Mademoiselle de Sérifontaine in 1943
  • Quiberon in 1948
  • The Black Madonna in 1952
  • Steve in 1953
  • The Bois de Dompierre in 1953
  • The King of Bergamo in 1955
  • The Rocks of Kilmarnoch in 1956
  • Grain de Beauté in 1956, Prix ​​des Deux Magots 1957
  • The Hazards of Travel in 1957
  • French fountain in 1958
  • Pierre Coignard, the convict-colonel in 1959
  • The Route de Varennes in 1962
  • A stay on earth in 1968
  • Gray Spring in 1974
  • Last summers in 1975
  • The hussar in spite of himself in 1976
  • La nuit des longs mueaux in 1979, Louis Barthou Prize of the French Academy
  • Red Boy in 1982
  • La Palette tragique in 1984
  • The Law of the victors in 1986
  • Cyrano de Bergerac in 1989

Source: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willy_de_Spens