Les Parisiennes, by Anne Sebba (and how Lisa broke the law in Paris in 2005)

I have this on my enormous to- be- read pile. I went to a discussion at Jewish Book Week on the book which as you suggest is an intriguing and informative read.

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

Here I am in Paris in 2005, at the Musee D’Orsay, unwittingly breaking the law…

Let me explain.  Apart from a wedding dress, I haven’t owned or worn a skirt since the late 1980s, and believe it or not, the [French] law against women wearing trousers, never enforceable since its introduction in 1800, was finally rescinded in February 2013, after 213 years. So until that date, every day of every time I visited France, four times from 2001 to 2013, I was breaking the law.  Who knew?  Certainly not me.

I learned about this absurd law from reading Anne Sebba’s comprehensive survey of Parisian life during the Occupation, Les Parisiennes, How the Women of Paris, Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s.  In the chapter called ‘Paris Divided’ I learned that the Vichy regime had adopted German notions about the role of women, because they believed that moral collapse was…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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