…once upon a time, the ability to speak French properly was considered an absolute essential. In 26 chapters, each focusing on a different colourful Francophile, Fumaroli makes his way across 18th-century Europe. The book is a gallery of Russians, Prussians, Swedes, Poles, Italians and Englishmen; politicians, soldiers, kings and collectors, who all aspired to speak and write the French language beautifully…

Read the rest at The Independent and buy the book at our Amazon store!

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