France

different stages of napoleons life

The confinements of Napoleon

Discover the story of Napoleon Bonaparte and his many stages of isolation.

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pink dress trimmed with lace

Callot Soeurs: a female fashion family affair

Callot Soeurs, one of the most influential and successful fashion houses of the early 20th century, was founded in 1895 by four sisters.

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black and white photograph from above of a crowded courtroom

True crime: policing and punishment in Belle Époque France

From crimes of passion and criminal gangs, explore these true crime stories about trials and criminals in early 20th century France

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Louis Braille and the braille alphabet

Developed in the 19th century by Louis Braille, braille is a writing system used by people with visual impairments. This blog explores a number of objects relating to braille found in museums, libraries and archives’ collections across Europe.

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back of pair of Lee denim jeans with label

Denim and jeans: making of a fashion icon

Read about the history of denim and jeans, from their invention at the end of the 19th century through to the popular clothing of today.

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room in which there are rows of machinery

Textile technology: Joseph-Marie Jacquard and the loom that changed the world

Between 1801 and 1806, French weaver Joseph-Marie Jacquard developed a machine that was then seen as one of the most important technological advancements in history: the Jacquard Loom.

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neon signs on a building in a snowy city

Neon nights: how advertising signs lit up the city

Neon lighting’s distinctive glow has been brightening cities across Europe and the world all through the 20th century. Neon signs and lighting animate city centres, evoking both a modern, urban world, both futuristic and nostalgic.

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women sitting at long tables working with flowers, large piles of flowers are in the foreground

The fragrance factory: Roure-Bertrand Fils and the perfume industry in Grasse

When we spray on perfume, how often do we think about how the fragrance was made? The process to extract fragrances and oils from flowers is a perfect blend of nature, science and industry, as illustrated beautifully by this short book about Roure-Bertrand Fils factory in Grasse, France.

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A story of migration: Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colours White

Each of the films of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colours trilogy explores a topic from the French Revolution motto Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.

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group of people performing music on musical instruments

Adrian Willaert and the foundation of the Venetian School

Composer Adrian Willaert was born around 1490 in the Low Countries, and moved at a young age to Paris to study law at the Sorbonne. There, having met composer Jean Mouton, he decided to devote his life to music.

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hand written manuscript

Adriatic relationships: Carlo Goldoni’s La Dalmatina

The 18th century play La Dalmatina by Carlo Goldoni – sometimes referred to as ‘the Italian Molière’ – is a striking illustration of the relationship between Venice, Istria and Dalmatia.

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man in corner of photograph sitting in an empty cinema

Krzysztof Kieślowski: migratory filmmaker

‘It is the road that’s really interesting,’ said Krzysztof Kieślowski at his last public event before his death. ‘I think that’s just the way we are. We know where the goal is and reaching it is not really as interesting as the path. That’s very curious. I think it’s the same with films, just like […]

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