Dictionnaire de L Academie Francoise
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A Life (1883), the first of Maupassant's six completed novels, tells the story of Jeanne de Lamare, the only daughter of wealthy Norman aristocrats, from the day she leaves her convent school, heart and mind full of fond, excited hopes for the future, to the day almost twenty-nine years later when she becomes a grandmother in very changed circumstances. She who had thought that life would be perfect - with a handsome husband, two lovely children, and a fine chateau by the sea - discovers that reality is not at all like romantic fiction. The story is set on the coast of Normandy, where the passage of the seasons and the vagaries of the weather play a central role in the unfolding of a life beset by treachery and disillusion, but a life redeemed from dreariness by the poignant beauty of Maupassant's prose.
Promise at Dawn
A romantic, thrilling memoir that has become a French classic. Promise at Dawn by Romain Gary (1914-80), a classic of modern French literature, has all the earmarks of a richly romantic novel. It is all the more thrilling, therefore, to read it and know that this is not fiction but a real-life story. As a young child, Romain Gary’s mother told him that a day would come when he would have to challenge and conquer the evil demons of submission and defeat. After all, he was to be a French military hero, ambassador, noted writer, and ladies’ man . . . . Thus anticipating battle, by the time of his death he had won the Cross of the Liberation, the Croix de Guerre, the Legion of Honor, the Prix Goncourt (the last rather a comedown, as his mother had mentioned the Nobel Prize); and he had been the French consul-general in Los Angeles. Promise at Dawn begins as the story of a mother’s sacrifice. Alone and poor she fights fiercely to give her son the very best. Gary chronicles his childhood with her in Russia, Poland, and on the French Riveria. And he recounts his adventurous life as a young man fighting for France in World War II. But above all he tells the story of the love for his mother that was his very life, their secret and private planet, their wonderland "born out of a mother’s murmur into a child’s ear, a promise whispered at dawn of future triumphs and greatness, of justice and love."
The Man Who Planted Trees
Twenty years ago Chelsea Green published the first trade edition of The Man Who Planted Trees, a timeless eco-fable about what one person can do to restore the earth. The hero of the story, Elzéard Bouffier, spent his life planting one hundred acorns a day in a desolate, barren section of Provence in the south of France. The result was a total transformation of the landscape-from one devoid of life, with miserable, contentious inhabitants, to one filled with the scent of flowers, the songs of birds, and fresh, flowing water. Since our first publication, the book has sold over a quarter of a million copies and inspired countless numbers of people around the world to take action and plant trees. On National Arbor Day, April 29, 2005, Chelsea Green released a special twentieth anniversary edition with a new foreword by Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the African Green Belt Movement.
While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a pirate's fortune.