This book was interesting for its historical content but I m really starting to wonder about all these people who find French women so amazing From what I m reading they seem to be in complete bondage slaves to their looks and their image So they can have their perfect hair perfect nails perfect clothes perfect bodies and the neuroses that go with them I ll take my eans and sneakers my hair flying in the wind when I drive with the I ll take my eans and sneakers my hair flying in the wind when I drive with the down my laugh and my music both too loud and dirt under my nails from my little secret garden plants in the spring Frankly I m delighted to say Je suis americaine This charming memoir takes you strolling through the streets of Paris with the author searching for the addresses of her favourite French authors French like Colette and George Sand The author is fascinated by historical French women like Marie Antoinette and women who migrated to Paris at some time during their lives like Edith Wharton Isadora Duncan and Gertrude Stein The personal reflections mixed with historical details are entertaining and enlightening Originally published in 2005 Holdforth s book escaped my attention until I came across it in a thrift shop earlier this year It has been a most enjoyable acuaintanceship One can never have too much Paris but Holdforth explores the City of Lights from a refreshing perspective she follows in the footsteps of significant women who influenced the outcome of Parisian and indeed French history directing readers to the locations where each woman s drama played outAfter reminding her audience that the French have always valued women who are past their first bloom Holdforth gathers the life stories of women from Madame de Stael to Empress Josephine to Josephine Baker to Nancy Mitford to Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman touching on Gertrude Stein Colette and Edith Wharton along the way and
other females of note whose names currently escape females of note whose names currently escape becomes part of the book s arc as the author contemplates the varying fortunes of her coterie according to the vicissitudes of their supporters and enemies Holdforth envisions a new way forward for herself at a turning point in her lfe that is bound to inspire readers along with the stories of the women who made Paris their stageWell written and highly recommended Another coming of age story in the tradition that seems to dominate travel writing Many will enjoy this book I however find this type of story very tired and there are better examples such as Almost French I visited Paris for the first time in November 1976 It was cold it was the last week of a nine week trip around Europe and all of us ust wanted to get back to London I knew
there was much to see and find out about this tantalising city and now finally I am making my tentative was much to see and find out about this tantalising city and now finally I am making my tentative back thereIn True Pleasures Lucinda Holdforth introduces us to some fascinating women of Paris I have heard of Colette of course and read one of her books I have read a book of Nancy Mitford letters recently and want to read The Blessing but within these pages there are a troop of celebrated women and the author illuminates some of the brightest stars how they created their own worlds and how they lived their lives in the Paris that was theirsF. Meet the dazzling women of Paris from Colette to Nancy Mitford; Marie Antoinette to Coco Chanel; Madame de Stael to Pamela Harriman; Napoleon’s Josephine to Edith Wharton Rule breakers and style setters demimondes and diplomats these women were utterly diverse yet all shared one common passion Par. Irstly though we meet the
Author Herself At The Start herself At the start the memoir she is lost and trying to find a new way to live her life What better way to do that in than in Paris and as Holdforth walks the streets of her favourite city we begin to find out about the brave and original women who have lived there As the author writes For many of them like me things didn t necessarily make sense from day to day Life was a mysterious and elusive business But they held their nerve and time vindicated their courage There is George Sand settling in the uai Saint Michel in one of the garrets of the big house on the corner of the block opposite the Morgue in early 1900s We meet the women who lived in or near Place des Vosges my favourite is Ninon de Lanclos who once famously said The woman who has loved but one man will never know love There is Hotense Mancini who left her husband and four children in 1668 to pursue her fortune There is of course Rose de Beauharnais who became Napoleon s Josephine and Madam de Pompadour who died of tuberculosis at Versailles in 1764 And let s not forget Marie AntoinettePamela Harriman Edith Wharton and Natalie Barney are some of the women who lived there in recent times and I particularly enjoyed reading about Nancy Mitford in my favourite chapter of the
book the languageThe Language Love As Holdforth states so elouently People talk a lot nowadays about having it all Having the husband having the career having the children And there s a cruel implication that missing out on any of these experiences is necessarily a permanent blight on life itself Like most of us however Nancy Mitford didn t have it all She graciously accepted that it ust didn t work out like that She merely had whatever was hers to have And
SHE MADE THE MOST OF IT AS DID SOmade the most of it As did so of the other incredible women of Paris Highly recommended This is a utterly captivating and enchanting travelogue of an Australian writer who goes to Paris in search of the reason that certain expatriate literary lionesses in history blossomed and found their voice when the moved to Paris It also features significant French women in history who contributed to a culture which allowed these author s to find an independence as a woman when only in Paris The doyennes run a gamut George Sand Madame de Pompadour Coco Chanel Colette Ninon de Lanclos Germaine De Stael Marie Antoinette Empress Josephine Nancy Mitford and Edith Wharton I m a feminist although Male and cannot read enough about women throughout history I have a particular devotion to courtesans and ueen regnants throughout history This book certainly fed nourished me on many levels Encore Ms Holdforth I really wish I could ve tagged along with Lucinda on this trip I learnt so much I really want to revisit Paris with this book in my hand True Pleasure a Memoir of Women in Parisby Lucinda HoldforthPublished in 2004 by Random House Vintage Books Australia ISBN 978 1 74051289 3The opening uote attributed to Germaine de Sta l True pleasure for me can be found only in love in Paris or in power pretty much sums up the book True Pleasure is a travel memoir an interesting historical and biographical compilation of famous women who lived in Paris The most refined were known as les. Is the world’s headuarters of femininityAt a turning point in her life Lucinda Holdforth ourneys to Paris and takes a very personal tour through the lives loves and losses of its celebrated women She evokes the city’s incarnations from Louis XIV through the French Revolution two world wars and th.