Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Widow Clicquot The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It by Tilar J. Mazzeo - 2008 - 265 Pages - (nonfiction)


The Widow Clicquot The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It by Tilar J. Mazzeo - 2008 - 265 Pages - (nonfiction)

A New York Times Best Selling Business Biography 

Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin Chicquot

December 16, 1777 - Reims, France

1798 - Marries The son of her farher’s  biggest busuness competitor - 

1805 - Widowed 

July 29, 1866

Starting just as The French Revolution is in full terror mode we meet The Clicquot Family.  The father, a  textile and wine  merchant from the Reims area of France.

He is an artistocrat at heart and wishes the Revolution never happened but he knows his and his families survival depends on pretending he supports the Revolution.  He Will prosper through his friendship with Napolean.

There are two intertwinded stories told in book. One twine is a Life account of How a Young widow created a very prosperous wine business in difficult times.  The other is all about Champagne, How it is produced and to me the very interesting story of How Champagne became the drink of choice World wide for celebrations.  If you drank Champagne at your wedding, it is because of the business Drive of The Widow Chicquot.


After marrying the couple want to Go into the wine business.  She continues on her own after he dies backed financially by her father.  

I was fascinated to learn How her brand became the brand of choice in Czarist Russia.  She invented processes that made the production and international sales of Champagne possible.  She ended up worth billions in today’s money.  We learn about her family and her business practices.  

Students of French history, lovers of Champagne and those wishing to see The still existing brand was created will enjoy this book.  

I posted on her very interesting book on The Ritz Hotel during World War Two, The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris during December of 2017

Dr. Mazzeo is the Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby College, in Waterville, Maine. She is the author of numerous works of narrative nonfiction, and several of her books have been New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times bestsellers.  She divides her time among coastal Maine, New York City, and Saanichton, British Columbia, where she lives with her husband at Parsell Vineyard.  - from the author's website

1 comment:

Lisbeth said...

Don't we all love a glass champagne, or two? Sounds like an interesting story. I have been in the area so could be good to read the history behind the establishing of these houses.