Volume 2, Issue 4, March 2012

A Word from the Editor

Thanks to the efforts of David Smith and the H-France techies, the Bulletin moves this month from its temporary site to its permanent home on H-France. As a result, readers will notice some changes. The aims remain the same: discussion of recent and not-so-recent works with a focus on teaching. The presentation has been improved and incongruities fixed. You will now find a table of contents for each issue, new features, and a new method of indexing. We hope that this will make usage easier, and we welcome your comments. I want to take this opportunity to thank Howard Brown who created this bulletin with me last year, Tom Rushford who set up our temporary site, and Philip Whalen who helped proofread the reviews. Eric Reed and Charlotte Wells remain on board, and their help and advice is truly invaluable. All of us involved with H-France know the debt of gratitude we owe the selfless devotion and hard work of its editor-in-chief David Smith, which we cannot acknowledge enough.

In this issue, I introduce a new feature: an interview with Susanne Alleyn, the upstate New York novelist who sets her mysteries during the French Revolution and Directory and whose clever recasting of A Tale of Two Cities should please all those frustrated with Dicken’s biases. Sarah Maza, fresh from her study of Violette Nozière, discusses the strengths and weaknesses of Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française and does a splendid job of explaining how to use it in the classroom. There follow three films on Louis XIV’s youth and early reign. With wit and insight, William Beik gauges the relative usefulness of The Taking of Power of Louis XIV and Vatel for discussions of the Sun King: the commonplaces they peddle and the interesting vignettes they offer. Brian Sandberg then tackles Louis enfant roi, a raunchy and theatrical retelling of the Fronde through Louis and his brother Philippe’s eyes.

Liana Vardi

Table of Contents

The Buzz

Interview with Susanne Alleyn, by Liana Vardi

Maybe Missed

Suite Française, Irène Némirovsky, by Sara Maza

Classics in the Classroom

Louis, enfant roi, by Brian Sandberg
The Grandeur of Louis XIV on Film, by Bill Beik

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