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When the World Spoke French


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About the Author

Marc Fumaroli is a scholar on French rhetoric and art. He is a member of the British Academy; the American Academy of Science, Letters and Arts; the Societe d'histoire litteraire de la France; and the Academie francaise. Fumaroli received the Monseigneur Marcel and the Critique prizes in 1982 and 1992, respectively, and is president of the Societe des Amis du Louvre. RICHARD HOWARD is the author of seventeen volumes of poetry and has published more than one hundred fifty translations from the French, including, for NYRB, Marc Fumaroli's When the World Spoke French, Balzac's Unknown Masterpiece, and Maupassant's Alien Hearts. He has received a National Book Award for his translation of Les Fleurs du Mal and a Pulitzer Prize for Untitled Subjects, a collection of poetry. His most recent book of poems, inspired by his own schooling in Ohio, is A Progressive Education (2014).


A vivid and provocative read. Independent on Sunday A graceful vehicle for the writer's personal anxiety as to the decline of the language whose flame he has always so ardently sought to keep. Sunday Telegraph A gem for history lovers. Destination France

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