50 episodes

French history is wacky, wonderful - and seriously weird. If the only thing you know about French history is that you hated reading A Tale of Two Cities in high school, pour yourself a glass of pinot noir and get ready for a wild ride. Learn about the time France ran out of cows - and figured out how to eat zebras. Learn about the eccentric national hero keeping bees on top of the Louvre. Learn about the revolution which fought for brotherhood, equality, and a national holiday for marshmallows! New episodes every few weeks! /// Featured on iTunes Buzzed About, CBC/Radio-Canada, Bello Collective, and The Audit.

The Land of Desire: French History and Culture Diana Stegall

    • History
    • 4.9, 375 Ratings

French history is wacky, wonderful - and seriously weird. If the only thing you know about French history is that you hated reading A Tale of Two Cities in high school, pour yourself a glass of pinot noir and get ready for a wild ride. Learn about the time France ran out of cows - and figured out how to eat zebras. Learn about the eccentric national hero keeping bees on top of the Louvre. Learn about the revolution which fought for brotherhood, equality, and a national holiday for marshmallows! New episodes every few weeks! /// Featured on iTunes Buzzed About, CBC/Radio-Canada, Bello Collective, and The Audit.

    56. Women At War 4: The Résistante (Jacqueline Marié)

    56. Women At War 4: The Résistante (Jacqueline Marié)

     









    We are going underground.

    ― Jacqueline Marié



    It’s the continuation of my new miniseries on a subject extremely near and dear to my heart: Women In War! For the next few weeks I’ll be focusing on the experiences of women in France during World War II: fighting the resistance, collaborating with the Nazis, keeping children alive against the odds, and trying to figure out the right way to live in a world that seemed upside down. The idea of this series first took shape before I even began this podcast, and I’m thrilled to bring it to you now.

    While our last episode focused on Coco Chanel and other French men and women who eagerly collaborated with the Germans, a number of brave men – and, particularly women – risked their lives to fight back. This week, we’ll focus on the women of the French Resistance.

    Episode 56: “Women At War 4: The Résistante (Jacqueline Marié)”













    Jacqueline Marié: Heroine of the French Resistance

    Jacqueline is incredible – and I don’t mean to spoil the ending of the miniseries with that verb tense, but YES, that’s RIGHT, she is STILL ALIVE and kicking butt and writing her memoirs. If you speak French, here are some incredibly precious videos of Jacqueline telling her own story.



    Sources

    My primary source for this week’s episode is Jacqueline’s own brand new memoir, Résistante. It’s only available in French right now, but it actually makes a pretty good read for language learners. Nearly the entire book is written in the present tense, so if you’re struggling with the plus que parfait (couldn’t possibly be me) this is actually a fairly manageable read. 

    A few other terrific, highly recommended reads:



    * Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba – If I could recommend a single English-language book about French women’s experiences during World War II, this is the one I’d choose!

    * Fighters In The Shadows by Robert Gildea – Recommended with a caveat: I don’t think Gildea is the most evocative writer, and this is shockingly poor editing for Harvard University. However, Gildea’s scholarship is tremendous especially when it comes to foreign or Jewish resistance networks.

    * A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead – I read this one years ago, and it always stuck in my mind. I reread it before this episode. She focuses on a specific group of women over the course of the war, and I think that narrowed lens has a lot to offer vs the sweeping approaches used above.

    * Sudden Courage: Youth in France Confront the Germans, 1940-1945 by Ronald C. Rosbottom – Rosbottom wrote one of my favorite books about the Occupation, When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944. This one is particularly poignant, considering the incredibly young ages of so many participants in the French Resistance. The photos alone will make you weep – they look like the babies they were.

    * This Anguish, Like A Kind of Intimate Song: Resistance in Women’s Literature of World War II by Lillian Leigh Westerfield – Great if you want to learn more about the women-focused literature of the age, including all those underground newsletters.

    * “Témoignage de Jacqueline Fleury,

    • 1 hr 4 min
    55. Women At War 3: The Collaborator (Coco Chanel)

    55. Women At War 3: The Collaborator (Coco Chanel)

    Where other women saw an Occupation, one woman saw an opportunity. Coco Chanel: fashion icon, social queen...Nazi spy.

    • 53 min
    54. Women At War 2: The Schoolteacher (Berthe Auroy)

    54. Women At War 2: The Schoolteacher (Berthe Auroy)

    Part 2 of a series about French women's experiences during World War II. Berthe Auroy adjusts to a strange half-life under the German Occupation of Paris.

    • 57 min
    53. Women At War 1: The Exile (Elisabeth Kaufmann)

    53. Women At War 1: The Exile (Elisabeth Kaufmann)

    Part 1 of a series about French women's experiences during World War II. The Germans are coming! As France falls to the invading army in June 1940, 16 year old Elisabeth Kaufmann must decide whether to stay or go. How will she survive on the road?

    • 40 min
    52. Luncheon of the Boating Party

    52. Luncheon of the Boating Party

    Hot fun in the summertime! Island getaways, floating bars and the birth of Renoir's "Luncheon Of the Boating Party".

    • 48 min
    51. Our Third Anniversary! Listener Q&A

    51. Our Third Anniversary! Listener Q&A

    The Land of Desire is three years old! We're celebrating with a listener Q&A episode - book recommendations, cocktails of choice, and very serious Disney questions!

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
375 Ratings

375 Ratings

MaryMagdala ,

A must listen for anyone interested in France, French history, and Justice

I am hooked on this podcast. The narrator is also the researcher, writer and producer. She is very factual but full of interesting factoids that make the whole story come alive. She has a very pleasant voice so listening to her is pleasing. She is remarkably detailed but again, uses her impressive research skills to weave an engaging story. Her research is remarkable as evidenced by the sheer quantity and vast array of resources, including sources quite obscure I’m sure. I’m a fan!

Joebabe ,

No fluff

Diana provides well-researched tales which delve deeply into lesser-known aspects of French history. She produces fewer podcast episodes of great quality.

Kat7277 ,

So good

I love this show. Great French history. Always a joy to listen to. Also fantastic recommended readings.

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