Les Vacances à la française

Beach towels stuffed into tiny car trunks, piqnique tables folded, and wine properly cooled down, the French depart like lemmings for the seaside in August, the traditional vacation month in France.

And so —  in keeping with the French-inspired theme of Gherkins & Tomatoes / Cornichons & Tomates — postings this month will be a bit more relaxed, mirroring the impact of summer heat and the musings that crop up when leisure allows reflection and reading.

Fittingly, on August 3 ,1108, Louis VI the Fat became king of what was then France, a minute island in a sea of small fiefdoms. Yet Louis set in motion the events that eventually brought French culture to the rest of world.

Ironically, August 3, also marks another interesting milestone in French history: Germany declared war on France on August 3, 1914, while the French sent their fleet to North Africa, essentially symbolizing France’s global power.

Louis the Fat

For more, see “Obesity and the Birth of France: Louis the Fat and Centralization of Power.”

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