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.
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.