Serial software entrepreneur, writer, French to English translator, mother, and lover of: books, travel, history, cultures, art, cooking, fitness, nature.

Fanciful Visions of Notre Dame’s Reconstruction

Christophe Pinguet, Que la lumière soit

Earlier this month, and more than a year after a disastrous blaze nearly caused Notre Dame’s total collapse, President Emmanuel Macron announced that the ancient cathedral’s spire will be reconstructed in its previous form. This declaration may seem a bit overdue. However, much has transpired since flames engulfed, then toppled,…

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Recent News from the World of Wine Forgery

Old wine bottles

Last summer I wrote a post about Rudy Kurniawan, perhaps the world’s greatest wine forger. His story is told in both a Netflix documentary, Sour Grapes, and an award-winning book, In Vino Duplicitas. Kurniawan, a young and charismatic wine collector who scammed wealthy wine collectors out of millions, makes a…

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Two Very Different but Excellent Podcasts

The Dying Gaul

The summer months have me outside on most days, working to restore my garden after years of my son’s punishing soccer drills. As I water, weed, trim, and thin, I like to listen to podcasts. I recently discovered two of the historical variety that I thoroughly enjoyed. In each recording,…

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The Miseries of War Part 2, Crimes of a Nascent State

Plate 11, The Strappado

Last week I wrote about an 18-plate series of 17th-century engravings by the prolific artist, Jacques Callot. Published in 1633, The Miseries of War provides a visual account of the Thirty Years War that ravaged Europe between 1618 and 1648. In my previous post, I presented plates 1 through 9.…

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