THIS is a scandal:
It is 1914 and Le Figaro is campaigning against Joseph Caillaux, leader of Radical Party slash finance minister, who was trying to introduce an income tax. Le Fig prints some love letters JC had written to an earlier mistress, the already married Berthe Gueydan. Berthe, or Big Bertha, as we call her, had subsequently divorced M Gueydan, a high-ranking civil servant, and become the first Mme C.
But not so fast, because JC had then started an affair with the tall ash-blond (and married) Henriette Claretie. He divorced Berthe and married HC. Then, on March 16, 1914, Mme C (II), outraged that these affairs were being made public, and afraid that her own adulterous correspondence might be made public, leaves home in elegant dress - for an Italian embassy reception later that evening - stops off at Gastinne Renette, ‘the elite gun shop on the Right Bank’, bought a Browning automatic, went to offices of Le Figaro, waits for editor Gaston Calmette, says, ‘You know why I have come,’ and ‘calmly pump(s) six shots into him at point-blank range from the pistol that was hidden in her expensive fur muffs, killing him instantly.’
Some people (who write on Wikipedia), say she was saving her husband from having to fight a duel. I have not done extensive research. I only know this story because it's in Lords of Finance. You should read it, you really should. Or you could wait and see if I post more juicy bits. It's certainly possible.
Anyway, L'Affaire Caillaux (the Caillaux Affair, in French) split France. There were riots in Paris between Caillaux supporters and right-wing agitators protesting against decline in standards of ruling classes. Parisians were gripped by melodrama, adultery and moral corruption, by JC's extensive network of mistresses, and by stories of his seduction of the previously shy, simple and retiring HC than in boring rumblings from the stupid Balkans. I don't blame them.