I have a 3 x 5 card on my desk at school with a quotation by Gaston Bachelard that says, “Qui ne continue pas à apprendre est indigne d’enseigner” (key nuh kohn-tin-u pah ah ap-ren-druh et an-dean-yuh dohn-sen-yay), which means “He who does not continue to learn is unworthy to teach.” Fortunately, since I love all things French, continuing to learn is a pleasure. For years, we’ve enjoyed courses by The Great Courses, and I’ve previously recommended them on the blog. Recently, my husband gave me Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon, by Professor Suzanne M. Dean. The lectures are packed with fascinating information. Did you know, for instance, that 40% of those who were imprisoned in the Bastille were writers, publishers, and printers whose publications offended the king? Professor Dean’s explanation of the Diamond Necklace Affair, one of the factors that led to the French Revolution, made a convoluted series of events crystal clear. If you enjoy learning about French history, I highly recommend this course to you.
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