Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The French Nanny

Dario has written to us, pointing us to the recent Italian paperback edition of 'La bambinaia francese' (The French Nanny) by Bianca Pitzorno. The book was first released in 2004.

If some months ago it was Emma Tennant who (re)told the story of Jane Eyre through Adèle's point of view, now Bianca Pitzorno gives voice to Sophie:

La Bambinaia Francese
Bianca Pitzorno
Mondadori (Oscar Bestsellers)
ISBN 8804554746 (paperback)

(Babelfish Translation, revised by BrontëBlog)
Paris, 1832. On a winter evening Sophie, nine-year-old, knocks at the door of the 'star' of the Opéra Céline Varens in order to deliver her some garments manufactured by her mother in their poor Montmartre attic. It is the beginning of a great friendship between the dancer and the orphan, who with the passing of the years becomes the favourite student of an old Enlightenment aristocrat, survivor of the French Revolution, the disappointment of the Empire and the Restoration. At his school, where he is addressed as Citzen Marquis, Sophie meets the most outlandish contemporaries, but her favourite is the Haitian Toussaint, a small black slave who was a gift to Céline from her English lover. Together, Toussaint and Sophie will have to face dangerous adventures, in France and England, in order to save their protector (Céline) from her pursuers and litte Adèle, her daughter, from the mysteries of an English house named Thornfield Hall.
A review published in Il Manifesto can be read here.

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