Brighton-sur-mer

Brighton-lès-Pins [Brighton near the pines]; Brighton Plage; Cayeux-sur-mer-Brighton – call it what you will, there is a development called Brighton in the north-west of France. 

Where in the north-west of France?  Find St Valéry at the mouth of the River Somme.  Follow the coastline round to the south and there it is, just two kilometres north of Cayeux-sur-mer. Continue reading

One egg is ‘un œuf” for breakfast

In 1836, the Revue Anglo-Française was quite astonished to reveal this riveting fact:

Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

Apparently, according to the Review, England was importing, via the ports of London and Brighton, no less than sixty-two million eggs annually.  France was providing not less than fifty-five million of these eggs.  The Review goes on rapidly to tot up how much revenue France was gleaning from England.  At 42 centimes per dozen, that added up to 1,925,000 francs a year. 

You can almost hear the author rubbing his hands in glee.  Would he have wanted “England” to leave “Europe”?

 

Dieppe to Brighton (1)

Source: Musée Carnavalet

In 1821 Charles Nodier, poet, novelist and librarian, was 41 years old and happily married.  He set off to travel from his home in Paris to make the long journey to Scotland.

The journey from Dieppe to Brighton was so rough that the sailboat ferry was blown off course.  Nodier and his fellow passengers endured a crossing of thirty-two hours.  It should have taken a mere ten. Continue reading

Faux Brighton 1

Source gallica.bnf.fr/BnF

The name BRIGHTON seems to hold an enduring fascination for French artists in all disciplines. Here is a first example.

In 1891 Leopold Wenzel, the Italian-born Musical Director of the Empire Theatre in London, wrote the music for a ballet called “By the Sea”. This is the poster for that very same ballet when it transferred to the Olympia in Paris.
The new name did not seem to convince even the French critics that there was much of Brighton in this sparkling ballet … apart, perhaps, from the sparkle. Continue reading

Petanque in Brighton … and Hove

A southern French game similar to bowls but played, usually on a sand or gravel surface, with metal balls which are thrown toward the jack. (Oxford English Dictionary 2017)  Pronunciation:  Brit. /ˌpeɪˈtɒŋk/

Provençal pèd tanco «  pied fixé  » (au sol) (Le Grand Robert de la langue française 2001) [From the provençal “ped tanco” feet fixed to the ground.]

Le jeu de boules dénommé pétanque n’est pratiqué qu’à de petites distances, sans être assujetti à des règles précises.  (Nouveau Larousse universel 1948)*
Continue reading

Where’s Brigthon?

Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

1884
Dear Monsieur Henry,
Whilst strolling in Paris last week, I noticed this advertisement for your excellent establishment.  However, I would wish to draw your attention to the fact that, if you do indeed have a factory in Brighton as you state, you do not know our town well as you are clearly unable to spell its name correctly.
Yours faithfully
A concerned Brightonian