The Miser’s Ghost, A Winter’s Cautionary Tale from Quebec

Vieille maison en hiver

My favorite Christmas story is A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. Every year I watch or read some version of this classic tale. Last week, I began wondering if there might be a similarly cherished, yuletide parable from France. I tracked down a dozen acclaimed stories, including two by Molière,…

Continue reading

22 Sensational Reads for the Francophiles on your Gift List

Love books

If you’re like me, you enjoy giving books as presents. Lately, I’ve been combing through various book blogs and lists on Goodreads to determine what I should buy for whom this year. In doing so, the thought occurred to me that I should put together my own list of sensational…

Continue reading

Fantastic French Films to Feast on Over the Holidays

Scene from The Parisian Agency

I’m perpetually on the hunt for film and book recommendations, even though I have a long list of both that I’ll probably never get through. At the end of each year, however, I usually pick up the pace of my media consumption. The weather in Michigan keeps me away from…

Continue reading

November Potpourri: Burials, Bangles, Blues, Books, and More

Chocolate fashion

At the end of each month, I select a handful of fun and informative Francophone news items that have come across my screen. Here are my picks for November 2021. First Black Woman Enshrined in the Panthéon Located in the heart of Paris’ Latin Quarter, the Panthéon honors many of…

Continue reading

Julie Gautier’s Ama, Stunning Underwater Dance of Strength and Courage

Julie Gautier in Ama

Humankind’s penchant for continually pushing the limits of creativity, science, and physical achievement never ceases to amaze me. You will find a shining example of this powerful predilection in the diminutive French free diver, Julie Gautier. Gautier was born on Réunion Island, surrounded by the Indian Ocean. She is a…

Continue reading

Baudelaire’s Spleen Defies Translation, There Do the Foolhardy Tread

La Fleur du mal

In 1968, The Sunday Times in London ran a competition to translate the poem Spleen, by the famous French poet Charles Baudelaire. Upon learning of the contest, Nicholas Moore, who had once been one of Britain’s most celebrated poets, decided to have a little fun and also prove a point.…

Continue reading

Affair Of The Diamond Necklace, Swindle That Ruined An Innocent Queen

The Queen as a Beast

Mention the name of Marie Antoinette and many people will credit her with the haughty citation, “Let them eat cake!” The frivolous queen allegedly uttered these words upon learning that French peasants had no bread to eat. Yet, Marie Antoinette never made this pronouncement nor was she indifferent to the…

Continue reading