In 1954, the success of Bonjour Tristesse propelled to the forefront a young unknown of 19 years, Françoise Sagan, a fragile novelist who immediately became the heroine of a generation. She was one of the figures of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and of the Saint Tropez of the Sixties. The author of Bonjour Tristesse discovered the Normandy coast in 1959 and adopted Deauville. Both have a taste for parties, horse races, vast beaches that soothe, game tables that electrify and gang trips that weld friendships.

From July 8 to August 8, 1959, Françoise Sagan rented the Manoir du Breuil, in Equemauville, a property with an 8-hectare park, located between Deauville and Honfleur. On August 7, Françoise Sagan, Jacques Chazot and Bernard Franck leave for Deauville for a last evening that ends at the gaming tables. The episode is now famous. In the early morning, after having played the 8 several times at the roulette, the future author of Bonheur, Impair et passe is all in her joy to have won, 8 million francs (a little more than 200 000 euros today). Back at the manor, she finds the owner impatient to take stock of the place. She asked him if he did not want to sell the house. He answered in the affirmative and specified that it was estimated at 8 millions. Françoise Sagan then took out a bundle of money from her handbag and handed it to him in front of his stunned eyes. "We were on August 8, now, I had won with the 8, he sold it 8 million old, it was 8 o'clock in the morning, what did you want me to do against all that?... I took the tickets out of my handbag, which was overflowing with them, and I put them in his hand, before going to bed triumphantly, in what was going to be - and has remained up to now - my only property on earth, a house that is still a bit run-down, located three kilometers from Honfleur (and twelve from Deauville).

The return that evening on the road that follows the sea from Deauville to Honfleur, in an old convertible car despite the cold, and accompanied by exultant friends, was one of the most delicious moments of my existence. I had spent a week in purgatory, it had almost ended badly, I had got away with it, and the sea was grey on the left, and the grass was dark green on the right, and the whole earth belonged to me.
Françoise Sagan, Avec mon meilleur souvenir, © Gallimard 1984

For the 10th anniversary of her death, the City of Deauville paid tribute to Françoise Sagan on September 27, 2014, in two stages punctuated by the number 8. After the unveiling of a plaque at the Bar du Soleil, a unique 88-minute evening in the Casino theater combined screenings, readings, testimonials and songs to rediscover Françoise Sagan, her voice, her vivacity, her words and her songs. The plaque reads:

... in this October Deauville, abandoned and burning, I was looking at the empty sea, at the panic-stricken seagulls that skimmed the boards, at the white sun and, against the light, at some characters that could have been taken from Visconti's Death in Venice.
And I, alone, finally alone, who let my hands hang, like dead game, on each side of my deckchair.
Back to solitude, to dreamy adolescence, to what one should never leave, but which the others - hell, heaven - constantly force you to desert. But there, the others could do nothing between me and this triumphant autumn.

Françoise Sagan, Des bleus à l'âme, © Flammarion 1972 © Stock 2009


Contact us :
+33 (0)2 31 14 40 00

Our tourist information offices :

Residence de l'Horloge
Quai de l'Impératrice Eugénie
14800 Deauville
See the opening hours

Place Jean Mermoz
14640 Villers-sur-Mer
See the opening hours

32 bis avenue Michel d'Ornano
14910 Blonville-sur-Mer
See the opening hours

40 rue du General Leclerc
14113 Villerville
See the opening hours

20 Place Lemercier
14800 Touques
See the opening hours

Promenade Louis Delamare
(behind the first aid station)
14800 Tourgéville
See the opening hours