Christy in Paris: Notre Dame

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkWLUulT24U[/youtube]

Here’s the first video I took while in Paris, visiting Notre Dame cathedral. Please pardon my lack of a hair comb…that difficulty runs rampant throughout the videos I took during my travels.

I was fortunate enough to be able to celebrate the sale of my first novel by going to Paris this April. I had been there before, but never when spring was in full bloom. I made a few videos of my time in France, as I visited different sites related to Eleanor’s life.

I went to Notre Dame first, my favorite building in Paris. It was an interesting experience to go there, and to see it from Eleanor’s point of view. I love that building, but she associates it with her first husband Louis and her rival for power, Abbot Suger. To me,that churchis a beautiful Gothic symbol of faith and lightin a time of darkness. To Eleanor, cathedrals like Notre Dame were symbols of the Church’s power.

The whole time I was in Paris I had similar experiences. I reveled in the beauty of the place, the food, the architecture, the wine andthe art. But during this visit, I also saw all those things from Eleanor’s point of view. She never liked Paris and was always glad to leave the city I adore to return home to Poitiers.

Of course, the medieval Paris Eleanor knew was very different from the modern city I visit, but still, the differences in our perspectives is fun. When I am working, this kind of duality happens a good deal, especially with a character as strong and with a voice as powerful as Eleanor’s. She had divorced Louis by the time the cathedralthat stands today was begun. But when I see that place now, and for the rest of my life, I will think not just of my own joy in the space, but of Eleanor’s more cyncial perspective. My life is richer for occasionallyseeing things fromher point of view.

4 Responses to “Christy in Paris: Notre Dame

  • Elana Wakeman
    10 years ago

    Christy,
    Remember me from Duke???
    xo,
    Elana

  • Donna Vetsch
    10 years ago

    Christy, I, too, have a BA in History from the University of South Carolina and I know your Godmother, Vena Miller of Aiken, S.C.! Vena’s son Greg, and my son have been friends since attending South Aiken High School mid 1990’s. Vena mentioned to me that you may come to Aiken this year to promote your book. I look forward to meeting you. I, too, also enjoyed researching information on Eleanor of Aquitaine for a class assignment. More trivia, I am thrilled that Katherine Hepburn portrayed Eleanor in the movie, The Lion In The Winter, perfect match casting. Eleanor truly was ahead of her time and she left a lasting legacy as well. I look forward to reading your book, The Queen’s Pawn. PS I came across King John’s castle, Eleanor’s youngest son, during one of my whirlwind trips to Shannon, Ireland. The Irish have done a great job of preservation work.

  • Donna, I am so excited that you are also a history buff and will be kind enough to read my book! I will definitely be in Aiken for a book party, and you will be invited. As soon as we know where/when, we will let you know. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm…I love Eleanor too. I am also a fan of John, though he gets a lot of bad press.

  • Elana! I am so glad to get in touch with you! Who could ever forget your sweet self?

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