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Extra info for A Frenchwoman's Imperial Story: Madame Luce in Nineteenth-Century Algeria
In which seeing it was a bad case and that she was getting her living honestly, she believes they wrote back to say there was no such person there. Was not that French? This presentation is followed then by a description of Madame Luce’s early intellectual influences: Then she told me how much she had been influenced in her childhood and youth by a certain old woman who lived in Touraine and was a market gardener. How this old woman had a wonderful head, and how one of her sons was head of the Collège at Blois, but how she would never accept anything from him but preferred sending her vegetables to market on a donkey.
8 All of these professions required schooling in reading, writing, and arithmetic. 9 Eugénie’s grandfather was clearly not a wealthy man. He earned a living measuring land, teaching at times, and helping out both in the town hall and in the church of Montrichard and Angé. The prefect appointed mayors during the First Empire, but this does not necessarily tell us about his politics, particularly in such a small village. Probably his ability to read and write qualified him for this position in a community of wine growers.
17 The singing competition Eugénie described between herself and a young lad during the hundred days of Napoleon’s return to power shows that at age eleven she followed her father’s political beliefs and supported the Bourbon royalty. Fifteen years later this was no longer the case. In 1816 the restored Bourbon monarchy of Louis XVIII revoked the right to divorce, a decision the Berlau family probably did not register although later it would play a role in Eugénie’s life. The change in government also brought a downturn in Sylvain Berlau’s fortune, as the decision to stop land surveying brought an end to his employment as a first-class geometer.
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