French Life

French Life

By

5
(1 Review)
French Life by Elizabeth Gaskell

Published:

1864

Pages:

62

Downloads:

1,774

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French Life

By

5
(1 Review)

Book Excerpt

Julie to make her own bed; she has certainly dusted her room, with all its knick-knacks and ornaments.

Madame, too, has been out to market; half across Paris, it may be, in her old black gown, to some shop she knows of, where she fancies such and such an article can be had better or cheaper. She has gone by the omnibus, taking advantage of the correspondance, by which, on payment of thirty centimes, and declaring her wish for a correspondance ticket to the conducteur of that which passes her door, she is conveyed in it to the general omnibus office, close to the Place des Victoires, where she may have to wait for a few minutes for an omnibus going in the direction for which her correspondance ticket is taken. If she has to return by any of the midway stations at which omnibuses stop, she has to purchase a ticket with a number upon it at the bureau, and await her turn, at busy times of the day - say at five o'clock, at the Place Palais-Royal. Her number may b

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A colorful, conversational diary of two trips to France, a year apart, which Mrs. Gaskell, clearly a Francophile, took toward the end of her life. Originally a series for Fraser's Magazine, these essays feature all of the delightful observation Gaskell is known for (rather like "Cranford" but without a plot).

She details everything from French dress to meals to customs to architecture, usually with enough comparison to their English equivalents that modern-day Americans can understand the difference.

Gaskell also delves into French history, recounting, for example, her talks with people who describe their childhoods during the Reign of Terror, and her researches into sometimes obscure past events of the places she visits.

Anyone with an interest in France or history should enjoy this travelogue.
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