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text 2020-06-02 16:00
Reading progress update: I've read 112 out of 380 pages.
L'énigme des Blancs-Manteaux - Jean-François Parot

(English text and images below.  Some images in spoiler tags -- trigger warning: substantial gross-out factor.)

 

Images en bas, quelques-uns marquées "spoiler" -- attention: risque de nausée considérable.

 

Thanatos: le titre du chapitre dit tout ce qui est nécessaire pour résumir le chapitre no. 5. -- En aillerurs, puisque Nicolas résiste à confirmer l'identité du mort trouvé avec l'aide de la vieille Émilie, probablement il vaut mieux ne pas encore fermer le dossier sur ce sujet-ci.  Pourtant, même si ce n'est pas l'un, sûrement ça veut dire que c'est l'autre ... et le propriétaire de ces vêtements, en aurait-il vraiment se débarassé volontiers?  Je le doute.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Thanatos: The title of chapter 5 says all that's necessary to sum up its contents. -- Since, incidentally, Nicolas refuses to confirm the identity of the dead person found with old Émilie's help, it's probably a good idea to keep an open mind on that.  But surely, if it's not one then it must be the other ... and would the owner of those clothes really have given them up voluntarily?  I doubt it.

 

 

Place de Grève and Quartier de l'Hôtel de Ville (late 18th century map and depiction from the 1750s, respectively).  The Place de Grève was later renamed Place de l'Hôtel de Ville (and still has that name today). -- For reference: Le Châtelet is just to the left of here.

 

 

Montfaucon, the actual location where the largely decomposed body was recovered. 

(For reference: The Place de Grève / today: Place de l'Hôtel de Ville is in the spot of the "Pa" of the word "Paris"; Le Châtelet was just beyond the second bridge to the left of there.)

 

 

Montfaucon had been the main gallows of Paris since the Middle Ages; in addition, in 1761, the year in which this book was set, the refuse dump already existing there was declared the city's main refuse dump.  Équarrisseurs (knackers' yards -- the places where horses were slaughtered and dismembered ... with every single atom of their bodies destined to be put to new use) are documented there in 1766; what with the area's general nature, it makes perfect sense for Parot to suppose their existence already in 1761.

 


"The Gibbet of Montfaucon"

(Sources and further information: here and here)

 

Montfaucon, cours des équarisseurs

(Source and further information)

 

(Given that those hanged at Montfaucon were denied a Christian burial and were dumped onto the refuse, the "soupe infâme en matière d'Arlequin ... des morceaux dérobés à Montfaucon" that Émilie sells gains an unspeakably vile meaning.)

 

Place de Grève: the execution of Damiens (described in detail, on the basis of actual historical sources, in the course of chapter 5). (Source: Wikipedia)

(spoiler show)

 

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review 2020-06-02 13:52
The Illumination of Ursula Flight
The Illumination of Ursula Flight - Anna-Marie Crowhurst

by Anna-Marie Crowhurst

 

Set in the seventeenth century, Ursula Flight is an unusual girl with a curious mind and a hankering for adventure. As a child she applies herself to learning to read and to learn about the world in ways that girls of her era seldom do, then a chance meeting with an actress leads her to fascination with a vocation with a bad reputation that is outweighed by the appeal of life on the stage.

 

Ursula is a likeable character from the start. She's intelligent and curious, more interested in an experience for its own merits than in 'what people will think'. However, although her father encourages her learning, when a local Lord takes a fancy to young Ursula, her father effectively orders her to marry him. Needless to say, Ursula is not pleased with being effectively sold into marriage.

 

The story is mostly told in first person, so we get a look inside the thoughts of a young girl, her fancies, and her unspoken opinions all along. One of her interests is in writing plays, so we are given interludes that she has depicted as a playwrite and have to wonder how much embellishment Ursula has added to her private writings.

 

Facing some difficult circumstances in an era when women were treated much as property brings out the strength in the character, even through girlish fancies. The story kept me interested all the way through and made me wonder if I would have had the courage to do some of the things she does to overcome obstacles to her happiness.

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text 2020-06-02 13:52
The First Review!

 

It's DAY 2 of my Luminous Blog Tour, and I am excited to share this first touching book review from author Stephanie Churchill.

 

 

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text 2020-06-02 11:33
Reading progress update: I've listened 141 out of 543 minutes. Depressingly accurate
Daisy Jones & The Six - Taylor Jenkins Reid

It's painful watching these people fail themselves. The quotes from their older selves are depressingly accurate:

 

 

 

'Drinking, drugging, sleeping around, it's all the same thing. You have these lines you won't cross but then you cross them and suddenly you possess the vary dangerous information that you can break the rule and the world won't instantly come to an end. You've taken a big black bold line and you've made it a little bit grey. Now, every time you cross it again it just gets greyer and greyer until one day you look around and you think, "there was a line here once, I think."'

 

 

 

 

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text 2020-06-01 20:08
Reading progress update: I've listened 574 out of 574 minutes.
The Jane Austen Society - Natalie Jenner,Richard Armitage

What a satisfying read. It captured my imagination and my emotions and kept me reading all day to see if people's hopes would be realised.

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