« The carrots are cooked »
Britannique installé en Corrèze, Mark Preece propose cette chronique à tous les amoureux de la langue de Shakespeare.
« These famous words were pronounced via the BBC as a coded message to announce Dday in 1944. Just under four years earlier, one of the most famous moments in France’s history, took place at the same BBC. The text that was to be pronounced, was typed by an unknown woman, Élisabeth de Miribel, who had to make out the scratchy, poorly handwritten manuscript, containing a great deal of crossings out, in order to produce what she said, in her own words, would “constitute a page in history”. Who was Élisabeth de Miribel ? Well, she was the great granddaughter of France’s third president, Patrice de Mac Mahon, who was himself a descendant of an Irish family that fled to France during the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie. But I digress, let’s get back to Lizzy. At the outbreak of the war in ‘39, she was, after volunteering, posted to London and when the French armistice was signed, decided not to return home but to continue the fight from the British capital. It was at this moment that she was urged by the General De Gaulle’s Aidedecamp, to type the famous “Appel du 18 Juin”. The speech was recorded at 6pm and aired at 10pm. It was in the newspapers the very next day. However, some mystery surrounds the message, as what was preserved, and that we can hear today, is the recording made on the 22nd of June. As she had taken this crash course in typing, Liz stayed on as De Gaulle’s secretary, was later confided a mission to Canada and went on to be a war correspondent and covered the Liberation of Paris with General Leclerc after winning a bet, (so the legend goes). A few years after the war, she entered the order of the Carmelites, but after 5 years, left on health grounds. Subsequently she joined the French Diplomatic corps. A great career for the lady that put in to form a text that was the starting point of the French Resistance. This speech has been celebrated ever since, by the General himself, during his career and life, and since the 18th of June 2005, it has been acknowledged as a world heritage by Unesco. The Aidedecamp to De Gaulle at the time was a man called Geoffroy Chodron de Courcel who just happens to be the first cousin to Mrs. Bernadette Chirac. Just think if they had recorded a message it could have started “Here, it’s the Corrèze ! »