Despite the on-going abuse Jane never permitted her mother to have the satisfaction of seeing her "break."
She was tough, no doubt, and it's fair to say that the abuse left her with physical and mental scars which she carried all her life.
According to her biographer - "One physical symptom of her nervous complaint remained, and, indeed, never left her. It was a curious and fascinating twitch of the nostrils that made her wrinkle her fine little nose like a rabbit. If anything it added later to her quaint charm."
Jane Avril should serve as an inspiration to those who have walked her path as a victim of abuse in that she refused to play the role of the victim and indeed went on to have a glorious career as a dancer who carried the crown of Queen of the Moulin Rouge and Montmartre for some time.
Again, according to her biographer - "Her mother would visit her wrath upon Jane with increasing violence. Beaten, thumped, shaken, whipped with a vicious leather thong until she was all but unconscious, Jane, night after night, went through nightmare scenes of desperate horror. How she preserved her sanity is a miracle, and the self control that kept her from screaming out loud, the pride that made her silent about her sufferings, were amazing qualities for a child of her age."
Here Jane Avril recalls in later life her own memories of what she suffered at the hands of her mother.
"I was to proud to cry, but anyway, my mother threatened me with such terrible vengeance if ever I breathed a word to anyone, that that alone froze me into silence. Ah, the nights I spent with my body black and blue and aching from her thrashings! But she was clever, as clever as she was evil, for she took care never to mark my face. As the blows rained on me I used to whisper deep down inside myself "Oh, stop...stop...stop..." But no one ever heard my plea."
Jane's ordeal didn't end there, Jane's mother sent her out onto the street to earn money in the manner in which her mother was accustomed. Jane who was only 15 years of age refused and when on one occasion she came home empty handed her mother full of rage and fury thrashed Jane to within an inch of her life and, flinging her unconscious and bleeding on to the floor.
A few nights after this incident Jane fled from home and never returned. Nor did she ever hear from her mother again.
To live through this and achieve all she did makes me admire this lady all the more.