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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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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Let’s Eat France! A Fun and Fascinating Guide To French Cuisine

Back in October, I was reading a post on Bleu Blonde Rouge, a blog by Claudine Hemingway. In it, Hemingway wrote about her favorite French cookbooks. I love to cook so jotted down a couple of the titles to see if I could find them at my library. I was…

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The Story of French and How it Became a Remarkably Popular Language

Last week I began summarizing some of the highlights from The Story of French, by Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow. My post left off in the midst of the French Revolution. I read much of the book in November. During the week of our election, I was learning that at…

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The Mystifying Popularity of the French Language Revealed

Parlez-vous français?

Today, France lands at number 22 in the list of countries when ranked by population size. Yet, French is the 5th most spoken language in the world, behind English, Mandarin, Hindi, and Spanish. It’s an impressive status for a relatively small country—49th in the world in terms of geographic area.…

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