The clock has struck NOON in Paris and we meet Sophia Rose at La Poste.
La Poste is the mail service of France, which also operates postal services in the French Overseas Departments of Réunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana, and the territorial collectivities of Saint Pierre and Miquelon and Mayotte. It is headquartered in the 15th arrondissement of Paris.
by Sophia Rose
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Paris, the beautiful romantic City of Light, has always been for me the mecca of food, fashion, and romance. I have not had the privilege to journey there in person. My love affair with the city is based almost entirely on fictional Hollywood sources- dangerous I know. But with such greats as Phantom of the Opera, Gigi, American in Paris, Paris When It Sizzles, Charade, Sabrina, how could I not be inspired. It is not just the silverscreen that produces such wonderful examples of stories set in Paris. Many authors have chosen the city for their book background.
Some famous authors would have chosen it if given half a chance as is proven by a controversial document unearthed recently in an unlikely place.****
Explanation of the document: A lost letter that was never mailed to Cassandra Austen from her sister Jane on the occasion of her journey with widowed brother Henry to visit his Eliza’s Paris.
Hotel de Feuillide
Henry and I have arrived. The channel crossing was uneventful, the inns were decent and the food exotic. My school girl French is woefully inadequate at times. I expected a resentfulness towards us because of the war in the people, but they are French and shrug happy to take our coin and the fleeting amusement.
Today we walked through the Gardens and visited the shops. Henry bought me the most cunning little hat and evening gown. Frippery, I know, but to own a Paris gown and be in the high kick of fashion. We have chosen a nice present for you, dear sister.
The gown a success at the opera. A rakish French gentleman of Henry’s acquaintance bowed over my hand and deposited a kiss saying ‘ravissant’. I do not let it go to my head. It is their way here. Monsieur Fontanelle, a dark, handsome man with wicked dark smoldering eyes and a pleasant voice speaking English with a soft accent could not possibly mean anything by it. He is merely being kind. He has offered to conduct Henry and I on a tour of the city and Henry accepted his invitation to dinner. Henry is fond of Monsieur Fontanelle’s company. He is a single gentleman of Henry’s age who has the care of his mother and sisters. It is fortunate that mama is not here or she would see him as an eligible marriage partner as I am almost at my last prayers- yet still she will try.
There is something about him in his air, his figure and his fine mind-and this place with its people, its sites, its smells, its sounds, its energy- so different from London. I want to write about it all. My muse has begun to stir once more. It is not known whether it is the influence of this city I see about me or if it is the French gentleman. Alas, there is no time and this inclination to write will have to wait upon my return to our quiet home as we are rarely at home here.
The carriage has been brought around and we go a venturing once more. I will write again with more impressions.
Henry sends his love.
And it was not just Jane Austen who felt the magical pull of Paris and the French. Modern romance writers are still setting their stories there. If you would like to read one of them, try...
by Juliette Sobanet
It is a Romantic Suspense (light on the suspense and heavier on the comedy) that is told about an uptight American Event Planner who finds herself on quite the adventure that turns her well ordered life upside down when she takes a business trip to Paris right before her wedding.
**** This letter does not really exist. It is entirely fictional.
Guest post created by Sophia Rose
© 2012. All rights reserved.
by Sophia Rose
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* image source Victorian Paris fashion dresses