April Potpourri: Sisters, States, Swindles, Satire, and More

April in Paris 1999

There are so many cool and interesting things happening in the world! Each month I look forward to sharing the most fun and informative news items that I’ve come across. Here are my picks for April 2021. In many cases, I provide a link that you can follow to the…

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R.I.P. Louis XIV, Long Live Louis 14?

Louis XIV

Last month, my favorite Paris museum revealed that it is reducing its use of Roman numerals on exhibit plaques. The Musée Carnavalet, housed in a stunning Renaissance-period mansion, offers visitors the fascinating history of Paris for free. Its doors have been closed for the last 4 years—first for remodeling and…

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Oscars 2021, 5 Acclaimed Films from the Francophone World

The Man Who Sold His Skin

One of the things I like best about the Academy Awards has nothing to do with discovering which blockbuster will win Best Picture. I find the actual award ceremony, where glamorous celebrities parade to center stage to deliver their well-rehearsed speeches, only mildly entertaining. Rather, the thing I appreciate most…

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Jeanne Barret, First Woman to Sail Around the World

Le Passage de Venus, Tome 1

As with so many notable women from history, when you first learn their story, you wonder why you’ve never heard of them before. For me, this was the case with Jeanne Barret who, in 1766, embarked upon a journey that would eventually circumnavigate the globe. At the time, it was…

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March Potpourri: Tableaux, Toasts, Trees, and Uplifting Tales

Focus Image Brusseler

Throughout the month I come across a fair number of francophile-related articles, blogs, images, books, or videos that I’d like to share with readers. I’ve combined this potpourri of news items into a single post. Below are some of the gems from March. However, if you only have time for one…

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On the Trail of the Golden Owl, Lucrative Quest or Wild-Goose-Chase?

In April of 1993, a man calling himself Max Valentin, buried a bronze replica of a golden statue said to be worth 1 million French francs. Valentin claimed that the statue, which resembled an owl in flight, was hidden somewhere in mainland France. The following month, he published a book…

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The Satirical Art of Claire Bretécher, Lampooning at its Finest

Nouvel Observateur, August 1997

Claire Bretécher was one of France’s most prominent socio-satirical comic strip authors for more than 4 decades. Bretécher is an icon in the world of bandes dessinées who has served as a role model to aspiring dessinatrices that dream of becoming successful cartoonists. Born in 1940, Bretécher broke into comics…

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Whodunit? The Deadly Bullets that Narrowly Missed General de Gaulle

On the afternoon of August 26, 1944, after 4 years of deprivation and humiliation under German occupation, an estimated 1 million Parisians flocked to the streets to cheer the return of their beloved General Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle had reluctantly fled to England within days of Germany’s taking control…

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