Tag Archives: Legion d’Honneur

Un don

Recently, an American couple, Spencer and Marlene Hays received the Légion d’honneur in thanks for the priceless gift of 600 19th-century French masterpieces to the musée d’Orsay. Spencer said, “Art belongs to no one. We were simply the temporary guardians … Continue reading

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Le Fils naturel

The other day, I talked about , Alexandre Dumas, père: today it’s time for Alexandre Dumas, fils, born July 27, 1824. He, like his father, wrote sweeping novels as well as some plays. His best known novel is La Dame … Continue reading

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Il fabrique un autre, et se cache derrière

French pop singer Michel Polnareff was born on July 3, 1944. He’s best known for his rather high singing voice and exotic appearance. For years he has cultivated a curly blond mop and worn huge white sunglasses with dark lenses, … Continue reading

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On January 13, 1898, Émile Zola blew the lid off the Dreyfus affair with his J’accuse letter. Alfred Dreyfus was a Jewish French military officer wrongfully tried, convicted, and sentenced to penal servitude for espionage. Zola’s letter, printed on the … Continue reading

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Va te faire cuire un œuf !

French celebrity chef Jacques Pépin was born on December 18, 1935 to parents who were both restaurateurs near Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. He moved to the United States in the 1960s to work in a friend’s restaurant and … Continue reading

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Décrocher une victoire

French singer Alain Bashung was born December 1, 1947. He had a complicated childhood, which involved a father he never knew from an obscure tribe from a mountainous region of Algeria known as Kayble. His mother re-married when he was … Continue reading

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Le trac, cela vient avec le talent

  French actress Sarah Bernhardt was probably born on October 23, 1844. Her real name was Rosine Bernardt. Her birth records were destroyed in a fire in 1871 during the Franco-Prussian War. When she was later put forward for a … Continue reading

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Un violon d’Ingres

French Neoclassical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (angruh) was born on August 29, 1780. He saw himself as a painter of historical and mythological scenes, but he is best remembered for the portraits that he considered an “inferior” form of art. He … Continue reading

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En avoir sous la casquette

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance took place the weekend of August 21, 2011. The Concours is a celebration of perfectly restored classic cars. Past Best in Show winners include Ralph Lauren (twice). This year’s winner was Peter Mullin who was … Continue reading

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L’impossible est le refuge des poltrons

Napoléon Buonaparte (later changed to Bonaparte) was born on Corsica, August 15, 1769, a year after it became French. For the purpose of focusing on the finest in French culture, which is, after all, the mandate of this blog, I’m … Continue reading

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