This essay exploring the literary world of Ottoline Morrell is included in my most recent book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in the book…View More Ottoline Morrell Gets Lit
Exploring the memoirs of notable figures throughout history is a passion of mine because they make great fodder for bringing the past into the present.
One of my favorite posts that contains information garnered from memoirs is Transitory Spaces. It was inspired by Garrow Kedigian’s space in the 2016 Kips Bay Decorator Show House, dubbed Napoléon’s Lounge. It was a stunning room with chalk tromp l’oeil architectural elements that knocked me out. There was even a small bundle of antique letters folded and tied with a ribbon on a side table in the room, which told me I simply had to present the point of view of the Emperor through his own memoir penned by Louis-Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, who was Napoléon’s personal secretary for eleven years and was given the immense task of recording the statesman’s every thought!
Did you know that his flagship, the Orient, as he is about to sail toward Egypt held these items? “Bonaparte’s own quarters were ‘astonishingly luxurious.’ Arnault had been asked to assemble for him a superb library aboard: history principally, and philosophy and poetry.” The books included in the library are actually recorded in Napoléon’s memoirs and the erudite choices are impressive for “a man of the campaign”—his intention to be sure. There were also eight hundred bottles of the best Burgundy and a city carriage for use in Egypt on board! If these types of details that bring history to life fascinate you as they do me, you can click on the memoirs tag on my site and read other posts with a similar verve.
The Fashionable Grecian Supper
This essay about a fashionable Grecian supper held by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun is included in my book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in…View More The Fashionable Grecian Supper
Peggy Guggenheim Goes Off-Beat
This essay exploring the world of Peggy Guggenheim in Venice is included in my new book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in the book…View More Peggy Guggenheim Goes Off-Beat
Medieval Calamities in Paris
This essay about the calamities of Héloïse and Abélard is included in my book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in the book feature…View More Medieval Calamities in Paris
The Camera Becomes King on Safari
This essay about a legendary safari tracker is included in my new book The Modern Salonnière, which is available on Amazon. The 34 other essays…View More The Camera Becomes King on Safari
Café Society as Cultural Interpreter
What do the Paris and New York City cafés that served as historical backdrops for some of the world’s most brilliant creatives say about the…View More Café Society as Cultural Interpreter
Eudora Welty Finds Her Voice
When a writer begins to grapple with how to mine the outside world for inspiration, the process can be challenging. In her memoir, One Writer’s…View More Eudora Welty Finds Her Voice
Exploring Frankfurt with Goethe
I am returning to Frankfurt am Main next week to attend Heimtextil for the second time, an experience I truly enjoyed last year for the…View More Exploring Frankfurt with Goethe
Madame Récamier and the Art of Reclining
Jeanne-Françoise Julie Adélaïde Bernard, known after her marriage as Juliette Récamier, was born on December 4, 1777—240 years ago yesterday. Had she lived during modern…View More Madame Récamier and the Art of Reclining
The Sensuous Delight of Place
Like Katherine Mansfield’s enigmatic stories, the book Place by Tara Bernerd feels like “a thread with a subtly woven texture embracing ecstatic feeling, sensuous delight.” The…View More The Sensuous Delight of Place