BOOK RE­VIEWS

France - - Contents -

In­dulge your love of France a lit­tle fur­ther with our pick of the best new reads.

Sav­ing Mona Lisa Gerri Chanel, Icon Books, £20 Lit­tle do visi­tors to the Lou­vre in Paris know that Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has not al­ways gazed serenely over the crowds who come to see her. Days be­fore France de­clared war on Ger­many in 1939, cu­ra­tors at the Lou­vre worked fran­ti­cally to save the mu­seum’s most prized pieces of art. They nes­tled the world’s most fa­mous paint­ing into a spe­cial case, lined with red vel­vet, and spir­ited La Jo­conde away to a château in the Loire Val­ley. As the war pro­gressed, the art was moved still fur­ther south as the mu­seum staff risked their jobs – and some­times their lives – to keep the price­less works of art and an­tiq­ui­ties out of the hands of the Nazis. This book is a com­pelling true ac­count of the men and women who fought to save France’s her­itage and a fas­ci­nat­ing story of art and in­trigue.

IN­TER­ME­DI­ATE

Mod­ern French Gram­mar: A Prac­ti­cal Guide, Rout­ledge, £30.99 This is an ideal ref­er­ence guide for learn­ers wish­ing to con­sol­i­date their knowl­edge of French, com­bin­ing tra­di­tional and func­tion-based gram­mar in a sin­gle vol­ume. Top­ics in the sec­ond edi­tion fo­cus on con­tem­po­rary is­sues and fea­ture clearer ex­pla­na­tions, with a greater em­pha­sis on ar­eas that learn­ers find par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult.

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