Info’Mail August 2022
C’est presque la fin des vacances!
I hope you had a very good Summer despite the vagaries of this year’s weather!
As you will have gathered from John Petty, invitations to renew your membership have been sent and there is a great programme of lectures starting on September 15 when Brian Stimpson will delight us with Le Flâneur Parisien.
If you are at home now, let us have your subscription soonest so it’s all ready when sending the AGM papers. The AGM is on 20 October and there will be drinks and canapés for us at the Guildford Rugby Club.
Meanwhile, you can immerse yourselves in French historical secrets, tout près de chez nous. Thank you John Petty for telling us that story. If you can find it on TV5 Monde’s website or perhaps on YouTube, there’s an interesting programme in the series “Secrets de l’histoire” called “Le Prince impérial ou la fureur de vivre”.
It’s about the son of Napoleon III. When he was exiled to England after France’s defeat by the Prussians at the Battle of Sedan, he settled with the Empress Eugénie and his son at Chislehurst where he died. The young Louis enrolled at the Woolwich military academy, joined the British army and was killed by Zulus in South Africa. Queen Victoria accorded him a state funeral.
The local interest for us is that the widowed Empress then moved to Farnborough where an Abbey was built to house the graves of her husband and son (and subsequently herself). The final part of the programme is filmed in Farnborough inside the abbey and the (English) abbot is interviewed. The whole programme is 2 hours long. I found it interesting and good practice for my French, but you can fast forward the first hour and a half!
Old members of the Committee will remember that a number of years ago we organised an Amitiés visit to the Abbey as well as the nearby former home of the Empress which is now Farnborough Heights School for girls. Let us know if you’d like us to organise another visit.
Pour finir, There is an obituary of Sempé in the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2022/aug/18/jean-jacques-sempe-obituary
and in many French papers including Dernier hommage à Sempé, grand poète du dessin d’humour, à l’église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés | FranceSoir