Category Archives: research

Vatel and the Invention of the Celebrity Chef

by Michael Garval “Who is this Vatel, where does he come from?” asks one courtier, in the 2000 Miramax biopic Vatel. “Nowhere—slums of Paris,” scoffs royal favorite Lauzun, his reply untrue yet revealing. So who was Vatel, where did he … Continue reading

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A Husband or a Hat?

by Susan Hiner Mon Dieu! Still single at 25?! If you were a young woman living in France at the turn of the twentieth century, on November 25th you might have received a number of friendly, encouraging messages by postcard—ranging … Continue reading

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Paris, A (Researcher’s) Love Story

by Rachel Mesch It’s a scene any tourist will recognize: along the picturesque quais of the Seine, vendors with their green, rectangular boxes line the sidewalks, peddling colorful postcards and souvenirs, knick knacks and paintings, a little piece of Paris … Continue reading

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Noisy Ladies in the French Theater

By Lise Schreier In June of 1816 Lady Morgan, the daughter of a famous Irish actor, hastily vacated her seat at the Comédie Française in a state of shock. “I had suffered so much from fear, agitation, heat, and noise,” … Continue reading

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High on Fragrance: The Nineteenth-Century Perfume Launcher

by Cheryl Krueger Multi-million dollar advertising campaigns attest to a thriving perfume industry in North America and the European Union. An average of three new perfumes per day were released in 2011 alone. But not everyone is high on perfume. … Continue reading

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Pants Permits in Nineteenth-Century Paris

by Rachel Mesch On November 7, 1800, the prefecture of police for the city of Paris issued an order prohibiting women from wearing men’s clothing in public. Noting that many women did so, but not for (excusable) health-related reasons, and … Continue reading

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What Not to Wear on the Omnibus

by Masha Belenky If you have recently been on the subway in New York City, you may have noticed a curious ad: “Dude… Stop the Spread…Please. It’s a space issue.” The public service announcement aims to curb the pesky behavior known … Continue reading

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