An essay on John Baxter’s French Riviera and its Artists.

An essay on John Baxter’s French Riviera and its Artists.

From reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's romantic depictions in Tender is the Night to becoming hooked on the contemporary television series Riviera, I have been addicted to the tales of artists and writers living in the South of France for years. This book is an incredible feat by John Baxter, and one that has been written [...]

An essay on Mylène Desclaux’s Why French Women Feel Young at Fifty.

An essay on Mylène Desclaux’s Why French Women Feel Young at Fifty.

Picking up this tongue-in-cheek guide to navigating ageing, I imagined to read something designed to fill women with confidence. The results were somewhat mixed. Mylène Desclaux - what a beautiful name - suggested hiding your real age from people at all times. This made me think of my ex-landlady Colette, who was proud of her [...]

An Essay on Catherine Hewitt’s The Mistress of Paris.

An Essay on Catherine Hewitt’s The Mistress of Paris.

Ah, the French in the nineteenth century. An era for Parisian women unlike no other - and this book explores the turbulent time period beautifully. Even with the citizens of the capital so insistent on a cool insouciance in the streets, Hewitt depicts an under-layer of ferocious passion towards cultivating society's manners and taste. Young [...]