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                                 

French Parliamentary Elections in Brighton 2017 (2)

Last month (May 2017), this stencilled message (The National Front shall never pass in Brighton) adorned the pavement around the Mercure Hotel on Brighton seafront. The hotel had just been used as the polling station for the French presidential election. Next Sunday (4 June) will see the same hotel used for the parliamentary elections for French nationals in Brighton and Hove. Continue reading

French Presidential Elections

French voters living in the United Kingdom came down firmly in favour of Emmanuel Macron as their next President.  The French community in Brighton and Hove did not buck the trend.

No official separate figures exist for the Brighton bureau de vote (polling station) held in the Mercure Hotel on Brighton seafront on 7 May 2017.  However, the Honorary Consul for Sussex, le commandant François Jean, is reassuring that the Brighton figures reflect those of the UK as a whole. Continue reading