Why Opt to Study a Year in France?

Carolyn’s Online Magazine



The WordPress prompt for March 12, 2015, is Study Abroad: If you were asked to spend a year living in a different location where would you choose and why?

If are a regular reader of Carolyn’s Online Magazine (COMe) (or its predecessor, CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS) you cannot help knowing I’ve been immersed in writing a historical (romance) novel (My Novel-Under-Construction) for over 10 years. Its time frame is the turn of the 19th century (about 1790-1824). You also know that

  • two of the main characters—Madame Rosalie de Leval and Louis des Isles—are French emigres who came to the United States with invalid deeds to land in Ohio, which they attempted to replace with land in Downeast Maine.
  • I discovered these real-life characters through researching my genealogy. Louis des Isles is my ancestor.

Thus, the place I would choose to study abroad would be Paris, France, where I could gather further genealogical information and research more closely the background of one aspect of my novel.

I invite you to enjoy cup of tea, (chocolate) coffee, hot chocolate or whatever beverage you want, and a snack, while I take you on a mini-tour of France with photos taken for me by Ann Aberg (Sweden), Sue Dietrich (Atlanta), and my Laurel Mountain Borough (PA) neighbors Joe Griffith and Daneen Kinsey. I extend much gratitude to them for their contribution to my novel efforts.

2EWhile in Paris I’d explore the region of France where the des Isles family originated. Thanks to Sue, a 4th cousin who visited Paris a number of years ago, I have photographs of where he lived until his death:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile there, I would dine at the Le Procope restaurant on numerous occasions, even though I’m told it’s somewhat pricey. However, it’s quite possible that Madame de Leval and the French people knew dined there. I wrote some preliminary chapters on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS (see links at end of this article). paris 080002 jOEE


PROCOPE 1E2paris 080033E2

Another task I would attempt to complete is to locate Jocelyne Moreau-Zanelli, the author of GALLIPOLIS: HISTOIRE D’UN MIRAGE AMERICAIN AU XVIII SIECLE, (published 2000). She wrote about the same French characters I’ve researched, those who came to the United States with deeds to land in Ohio. Only she wrote it having access to the French records, and the advantage of speaking the language so she could read the documents.


As for speaking French, I am grateful that most Europeans—especially the younger ones—know English. My language abilities have always been poor. It is my one biggest handicap in researching material for genealogical and writing purposes. I am also grateful for numerous persons who have helped me translate many of the documents and parts of the Jocelyn Moreau-Zanelli book—which is written in French.

paris 080023E2

Although I choose to visit France I would visit one other country: Sweden. I’ve been in touch my Swedish grandmother’s family, and would love the opportunity to visit them. We have shared so much information through the past few years. It’s been a delight to be in touch with them.

So my response to the March 15, 2015, WordPress prompt, Study Abroad, must be France.



PROCOPE CAFÉ, PARIS: Part 1—Finding photographs: An International Adventure


Compagnie du Scioto Meeting at Café le Procope: Novel #3A , Compagnie du Scioto Meeting at Cafe le Procope (Novel #3B)

To be fluent in any language…which would it be?



About carolyncholland

In several if my nine lives I have been a medical lab technician and a human service worker specializing in child day care, adoptions and family abuse. Currently I am a photo/journalist/writer working on a novel and a short story. My general writings can be viewed at www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com. My novel site is www.intertwinedlove.wordpress.com.
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2 Responses to Why Opt to Study a Year in France?

  1. merry101 says:

    Carolyn…good morning. I choose Ireland. My father’s parents were both from Ireland. They died when he was about 10. So I know very little about them. My daughter is doing research on them.
    Thanks for sharing your pictures of Paris. 🙂


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