The river Seine, Elaine Sciolino way

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Elaine Sciolino, the well known New York Times writer and former Paris bureau chief, has been posted in Paris for many years with husband Andrew Plump who is a lawyer. After writing about her street, rue des Martyrs,  in the 9 th arrondissement, she now concentrates on the river Seine, which flows for almost 500 miles from Saint- Germain-Source-Seine, in … Read More

George Eliot is celebrated in London

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Everyone knows about George Eliot, might even have read “Middlemarch”, her extraordinary fresco of country life in Victorian England, but for me it was a discovery to find out how modern and liberated a woman she was, two hundred years ago. Thanks to Kathy O’Shaughnessy’s literary yet enjoyable biographical novel,  “In love with George Eliot”, we now know that women’s … Read More

The Phantom of the Opera is back, thanks to Gérard Fontaine

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After writing half a dozen books on the architecture of Opéra Garnier, Gérard Fontaine is digging into the very active life of the Phantom of the Opera, a legendary hero created by novelist Gaston Leroux, who has been continuously on stage in London at Her Majesty’s Theater since October 1986. The beautiful book published by Editions du Patrimoine, reveals all … Read More

Pinault versus Arnault, is there a winner?

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At the time when Bernard Arnault is seen shaking hands with Donald Trump on the 8 o’clock news, inaugurating a Louis Vuitton factory in Texas (what about the “made in France”?), while France has 9,1% unemployment, it is important to read this new book by Jean Gabriel Fredet, “The secret war of art billionaires” (unfortunately only in French at the … Read More

Louis XIV and Charles de Gaulle, attract British biographers

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Two major biographies of great French men have been published in the last year in Great Britain and both are translated into French: “King of the World, The Life of Louis XIV”, by Philip Mansel and “De Gaulle, A certain idea of France”,  by Julian Jackson are huge successes in the time of Brexit. And both are published by Penguin … Read More

Pays Basque is celebrated through its dance costumes

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The Basque country, which goes across borders over the Pyrénées, from Bayonne to Bilbao, has always fascinated ethnologists and this new book on its traditional dance costumes conceived by Serge Gleizes, is a little gem. Largely due to the talent of photographer Véronique Mati. If you have ever been curious about provincial French costumes, this is a series of photographs … Read More

London is swinging even in the heat

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While the whole of literary London gathered around charming historian Philip Mansel at the French Institute for his talk on his remarkable new biography of Louis XIV, “King of the World”, and art collectors and dealers (like Alexis Kugel) were at Christie’s bidding for the Rothschild treasures with its exceptional Flemish cabinets, polychrome enamel plaques by Léonard Limosin and rock crystal … Read More