The Story of French

The Story of French

Paperback - 2006
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Why does everything sound better if it's said in French? That fascination is at the heart of The Story of French, the first history of one of the most beautiful languages in the world that was, at one time, the pre-eminent language of literature, science and diplomacy. Nadeau and Barlow chart the history of a language spoken as a native tongue by 130 million people around the globe. The first document written in the French was signed by the sons of Charlemagne in 832. After this, Latin was purged from the courts of France by Francois 1st, giving root to French speakers' 21st century obsession with language protection. The obsession progressed as Cardinal Richelieu established the French Academy, a group entrusted with the responsibility of keeping the language pure and eloquent. As French circled the globe, the international cast of characters included Montaigne, Catherine the Great, Frederic II of Prussia, the guides of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Jules Verne, and others. Let Nadeau and Barlow guide you through the story of a language used to write some of the world's great masterpieces of literature, construct some of the most important documents of diplomacy, bedevil millions with its vagaries of pronunciation and beguile everyone with its beauty.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2006.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780312341831
Branch Call Number: 440.9
Characteristics: ix, 483 p. : maps ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Barlow, Julie 1968-


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Feb 05, 2018

"The Story of French" by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and‎ Julie Barlow was really interesting. Most of everything in the book was new to me. The only fault was a tendency to repetition. Having read the book cover-to-cover, I finished thinking that a good third of the book could have been pared away without losing much of the interesting stuff between those covers.

Dec 03, 2016

Wonderful overview of French around the world. There are many insights given into aspects of French that I was not aware of, that others will also find enlightening.


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