Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mother And Daughter

Wandering Around (Or Far From) The Cottage - January Edition (2)


So sorry that second part took so long to publish, I had a very busy (on all levels) week.

Let me first answer a question that I've been asked several times about the first post. Mme de Sévigné wasn't a writer per se, but she wrote many letters to different people, mostly to her daughter. Those letters were later published and made her, and the village of Grignan, famous.

For those who missed part 1: we are visiting the castle of Grignan, where the famous French "writer" Mme de Sévigné spent some time and died.

Je vous présente d'abord mes excuses pour le retard avec lequel cette deuxième partie vous arrive. Ma semaine a été compliquée sur absolument tous les plans possibles!

Pour ceux qui ont raté le premier épisode: nous visitons le château de Grignan où Mme de Sévigné a fait quelques séjours et où elle est morte.

So, let's go behind the walls we saw in the last post and here's the beauty standing in front of you...


My parents might have thought that I was done taking pictures and walked rigth in front of me... I was having a hard time adjusting to the light with my new camera.


Je vous propose de commencer par un petit tour des extérieurs avant que la lumière ne décline.


You may remember I told you in the previous post that the terrace was on the church's roof. That's where we are right now. Have a look at the church below us!

Vous vous souvenez peut-être que la terrasse du château s'étend sur le toit de l'église. C'est de là qu'est prise la photo ci-dessus. Et voici la vue de l'église en contre-bas.


Now rather than bore you to death with the whole history of the castle, I thought I'd share with you a few of the fun facts I teach my pupils about Mme de Sévigné.

Plutôt que de vous ennuyer avec tout l'historique du château, je vous propose de partager avec vous quelques unes de mes anecdotes préférées à propos de Mme de Sévigné.


1. In her youth, she was famous both for her wit and for her good-looks. It seems her husband was the only one not in love with her and he died in a duel over his mistress! Even if many men courted her, she never remarried.


1. Dans sa jeunesse, son esprit était aussi célèbre que sa beauté. Son mari semble avoir été le seul homme insensible à son charme et il est d'ailleurs mort au cours d'un duel engagé pour les beaux yeux de... sa maîtresse!


2. Before her husband died, she had two children: a son and a daughter. Her daughter, Françoise (who later lived in the castle of Grignan we are visiting), was said to be very beautiful. When she was still unmarried, Françoise danced in a ballet with king Louis XIVth  and rumour has it that the king liked her very much and that maybe she wasn't a virgin anymore when she married!


2. Françoise, la fille de Mme de Sévigné, était reconnue dans sa jeunesse comme une belle femme à la cour du roi Louis XIV. Elle eut l'honneur de danser avec lui dans un ballet. Il sembla la trouver à son goût et, selon  la rumeur, la demoiselle n'est peut-être pas arrivée vierge à son mariage...


3. At the time when mother and daughter sent each other letters, the latest fashion at Versailles was to drink hot chocolate. Mme de Sévigné first told her daughter to drink some for her health. A few letters later, she advised her not to drink too much of it. A lady of Versailles had drank so much chocolate during her pregnancy, that she had had a black baby!


3. A l'époque où la mère et la fille s'échangeaient leurs lettres, boire du chocolat chaud est la dernière mode à la cour de Versailles. Mme de Sévigné conseille d'abord à sa fille d'en boire. Puis quelques lettres plus tard, elle la met en garde: une femme de la cour a bu tellement de chocolat pendant sa grossesse qu'elle a accouché d'un petit bébé noir!


4. Although if you read Mme de Sévigné's letters to her daughter, you'd think the two women loved each other dearly, in reality, when they were together, they quarelled more often than not. I admire most of all the way Mme de Sévigné nearly erase all that in her letters, manipulating the truth.


4. Bien que les lettres de Mme de Sévigné à sa fille semblent n'être que de grandes déclarations d'amour à Françoise, les deux femmes passaient leur temps à se quereller lorsqu'elles se voyaient. J'aime la façon dont Mme de Sévigné manipule la vérité dans ses lettres.


5. Mme de Sévigné was afraid her daughter wouldn't know about Paris latest fashion when she went to live in Grignan, so she sent her dolls that would have the newest hairdo in order for Françoise to know what to ask of her maids.


5. Mme de Sévigné était coquette et s'inquiétait que sa fille ne soit pas à la mode, perdue dans le lointain village de Grignan : elle lui envoyait donc des poupées sur lesquelles étaient reproduites les dernières coiffures qui faisaient fureur à Paris pour que Françoise sache comment se coiffer!


6. It was Mme de Sévigné's grand-daughter who published her grand-mother's letters, changing them a lot unfortunately and destroying her mother's, thinking they gave an awful idea of who her mother was!


6. C'est la petite fille de Mme de Sévigné qui, la première, a édité les lettres de sa grand-mère de façon officielle, les transformant beaucoup malheureusement. Elle a aussi détruit celles de sa mère, estimant qu'elles ne donnaient pas une image flatteuse de Françoise.


I hope you enjoyed discovering a few facts about Mme de Sévigné.

Now, many of you asked me if I could take you back to the village when lavender is blooming. That is highly unlikely, but I worked a little Google magic! Close your eyes... and there you are! Can you feel the sun on you skin and smell the fresh flowers of lavender?


J'espère que vous avez apprécié ce petit aperçu du château de Grignan, que Google vous montre ci-dessus avec un champ de lavande tout fleuri.

See you soon,

A bientôt,


I'm sharing with:
Travel Photo Monday         Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home             My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

                         

30 comments:

  1. Loved your story - I love history and learning all about people. I especially liked the one that Susan did a post on - the apartment in Paris that sat empty since World War II. Such beautiful women - you are so lucky to be able to travel there and see all these wonderful things. Thanks so much.

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  2. I can imagine that your students are enthralled by your historical vignettes.

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  3. Of course the hot chocolate did that. ha ha. Yes, I can smell the lavender.

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  4. Loved the story! It's very beautiful. I love the color of the stone so much! Where I live stone is mostly red or salmon with lots of iron and copper. I guess that stone must have a lot of calcium.

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  5. I love castles...beautiful and fascinating.

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  6. Very interesting and enjoyable story about Mmme de S., especially the part about the hot chocolate - oh my! Yes, I can feel the sun and smell the lavender, and it's delightful!

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  7. What a beautiful place Magali - LOVE the story - the hot chocolate LMHO -
    Like the nun in Italy that just had a baby - and they're all very surprised and not sure how it happened - lol
    Miss you - these reno's are going to kill me!
    XOXO

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    1. I'm glad you had time to tour the castle while your paint was drying!

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  8. Les lettres de Madame de Sévigné, je les ai lu en cachette parce que mes parents ne les trouvaient pas convenables, ce qui était encore plus tentant.
    Ce château est vraiment très beau.
    Bises. Babette

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  9. A great blogpost!Thank you! I would love to visit this place one day!AriadnefromGreece!

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  10. Wonderful tour Magali! I like finding out their story but the castle is amazing and truly, with the lavender in bloom it probably was heavenly! I can only imagine it back in it's glory days, with all the opulence and grandeur still inside. Thank you dear! Love it!

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  11. Hello Magali. I'm catching up on my blog reading this morning, and very much enjoyed this post and the one prior. You're a wonderful tour guide. Mme de Sévigné seems a fascinating woman, and the castle is magnificent. I love the lavender field. There are quite a few lavender fields in Oregon, where I live, and I already have plans to attend the lavender festival in July. Wonderful posts. Thank you. ~ Nancy

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  12. Coucou Magali! nous en avions parlé, je suis fan et de madame de Sévigné et de ce château que j'ai visité en plein été sous une chaleur étouffante! Mais que de plaisir à découvrir ce lieu et de le redécouvrir avec le charme de ta plume bilingue.
    See you soon, Emmanuelle

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  13. Lovely . . . the stories . . . the castle . . . the church . . . the field of lavender . . . thank you.

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  14. What a beautiful castle, Magali--I love the terrace, the gargoyle and the staircase inside. And what a colorful life this woman led--loved learning more about her. Quite the hot chocolate story!

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  15. Bonjour Magali!!!!

    Thank you for taking us on this adventure of history!!!! I imagine the air around where the lavender grows is beautiful!!!
    I love hearing the stories that go with these ancient buildings!!!

    Have a great week Magali!!!!!

    Pam
    xox

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  16. Thanks for the great tour, Magali. Such a wonderful place to be visited. A castle 'above' the lavender land

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  17. What a gorgeous tour! Thank you Magali.

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  18. Wow, what an excellent tour, thanks for taking us to this wonderful place and your excellent story to this castle, love it!

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  19. The castle is breath taking, and so are the views. Thank you for the tour and the interesting facts about Mme de Sevigne, and also for finding that beautiful shot with the field of lavender.

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  20. You must be such a great teacher. It was very fun reading all this. :)

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    1. We all have different way to get our pupils interested. Mine is to tell them fun historical facts!

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  21. I'm looking a little pale. Let me go drink some hot chocolate ;)

    It's funny what a lack of education will do!

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  22. Fabulous! Love the story you shared too. and I've just seen your little porch for the first time - I LOVE it!!!

    I've missed some posts, off to read the rest. xox

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  23. This is a fascinating tale. It makes me want to read the book. Do you think that it has been translated into English? I have kept a journal since I was seven years old and was also a voracious correspondent when younger. I have all of my journals plus every letter I have ever received in a trunk in my basement. Sometimes I wonder if anyone will read those when I am no longer around and what their impression of me will be.

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    1. Mme de Sévigné's letters have been translated in English and I think you may even been able to find some of them online.

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  24. Just as I thought, the lavender is breathtaking! Loved all of the interesting history and seeing this beautiful castle!
    hugs,
    Jann

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  25. Great story, and beautiful pictures!!

    -andi

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  26. Dear Magali,
    A very interesting read and wonderful pictures. Such an amazing post !
    Love,Izabella.

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