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Born in Bayonne in 1892, Leonie Ballet was firstly a school teacher, a career she had to give
up for health reasons. In 1921 she married Mr. GARDEAU, of the registry office of
Villefranche-de-Lonchat, who wishing to remain in Perigord, where they both had family
attachments, procured the vacant solicitor's office.
While assisting her husband, Leonie Gardeau became acquainted with the solicitor's archives,
grasping all of their savour and wealth, and their links to a region and population touched her
sensitivity as a woman and poet,
Tempted by literature, she rather chose history, more real and more rigorous, and set out in
that direction in 1939, the year in which she founded a museum of history and popular
traditions which in 1972 would receive a grant from the Fondation de l'avenir of Perigord.
If the war prevented her research for a while, Leonie Gardeau never ceased working
afterwards for 24 years from 1947 to 1971, at the National Archives, the National Library, the
Departmental Archives in Pau, Bordeaux, Perigueux, and Agen, at the Municipal Archives of
Bergerac and Libourne, and in private collections. She devoted her time to illustrating the

glory of her dear Perigord and in particular, her magnivicent town of Villefranche-de-

She passed away on 12 March 1981 at the age of 88, leaving behind an important body of
works of history and erudition.
She is known for her literary works under the pseudonym of RAOUL SAISON

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