sábado, 30 de abril de 2011

What the Duchess of Berry and YiaYia have in Common

The Duchess of Berry was quite an eccentric woman. Famed in all the north of France for hemming her dresses one inch higher than her female peers in order to display her fine ankles, she was racy, brash and irreverent. Social norms were of no interest to her. Or, rather, breaking social norms was of great interest to her. She was the first noble person to take a swim in the ocean off the western coast. One day the duchess pulled on rubber boots and a baggy bathing suit, gathered her top-hat clad courts men, and paraded off into the salty sea. French culture was forever changed. This was, apparently, the beginning of sea side resorts, and the impetus for snooty Parisians to invest in thatched-roof summer cottages. People thought she was crazy, but the Duchess of Barry changed French culture with a pair of goulashes and an independent spirit.

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