Meeting with Sibylle

I met this morning with Sibylle, of Sibylle’s Kitchen Sink, and she already posted on it!

She asked questions about characters that no one else seemed to have much noticed, like Rosalie, the Countess de Provence’s Black maid, and Martial, the “workman” who befriends Gabrielle during the September massacres in 1792.

It was perfect timing for Rosalie, because I had been working on the post below on General Dumas and reflecting on the issue of Bonaparte and slavery.

We continued our discussion during a stroll in the beautiful gardens of the Luxembourg Palace, which also happens to be one of my heroine Gabrielle’s favorite haunts in Paris. Thank you for a lovely time, Sibylle!

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11 Comments to “Meeting with Sibylle”

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    You certainly nailed it, Suzanne. I will post on Sade tomorrow. Stay tuned!

  7. Suzanne Levin says:

    I must admit, I’m amazed that no one else has noticed that. I’m certainly not a fan of Sade myself though, so perhaps I wouldn’t have noticed either but for a very interesting article I once read contrasting his views with those expressed by Saint-Just in his Institutions républicaines. (Needless to say, Sade and Saint-Just’s ideas are diametically opposed.)

    In any case, I thought it was a nice touch to include him, or at least a version of him. I love recognizing details like that in historical fiction!


    Sue – I would be honored if Mistress of the Revolution became one of those books you read and reread with the same, or increasing, pleasure.

    Most French people don’t know that the H in Coffinhal is not silent. Maybe I should post about the Roman language one of these days.


    Dead on, Suzanne! And you are the very first to spot this.

    Lacoste was the name of one of Sade’s chateaux in Provence. And the outrageous opinions the Marquis expresses, and Gabrielle takes with a grain of salt, are taken from La Philosophie dans le boudoir (don’t know the English title, but you probably do.) It was published, I believe, in 1795.

  10. Sue says:

    Thank you for posting this Catherine. I enjoyed reading Sibylle’s account of your meeting. I too thought her questions very very good indeed. They reminded me that I raced through Mistress of the Revolution, in an effort to find out what happens, far too fast. I think I am going to have to reread. I suppose a good book is rather like a good movie. The first viewing you get the story, with the second, you get the fine details. I was excited to learn the proper pronunciation of Coffinhal too as I incorrectly assumed the “h” was silent.

    It sounds like you and Sibylle had a fine time, thank you again for sharing!


  11. Suzanne Levin says:

    That reminds me of a question I had about a minor character from Mistress but never got around to asking. Is the character of Lacoste supposed to be based on Sade? I’m sure it can’t be a coincidence that their opinions and biographical details are so similar…

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