Category: 1DDF-FR-LAA

And The Show Went On

In June 1940, Paris fell to the Nazis who made the world’s cultural capital their favourite entertainment ground. Music halls and cabarets thrived during the occupation, providing plenty of work for actors, singers and musicians except for the Jews. The likes of Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf, who had entertained the French troops, now unabashedly provided amusement to the Germans.

After the invasion of France, those artists still in Paris had to find ways to survive. Although Matisse and others kept out of view, Picasso could not avoid Nazi visitors. A few, like Beckett, joined the Resistance. Some were arrested and died in German hands. Others entertained the enemy. The theatres reopened, the movie cameras rolled, galleries sold paintings looted from Jewish families, pro-German writers and their rivals fought in print. Told through the experiences of renowned creative figures and witnesses of the times, And the Show Went On is an authoritative account of how Paris’s artistic world lived through the Occupation during which some suffered Nazi oppression while others prospered through collaboration.

Black Venus

In nineteenth century Paris, the young bohemian Charles Baudelaire roams the streets. Dressed impeccably – thanks to an inheritance that is quickly vanishing – and lost in the decadences of alcohol and opium, he is about to meet one woman destined to change his life forever: the beautiful Haitian cabaret singer, Jeanne Duval.

Inspiring Baudelaire’s most infamous poems – leading to the banning of his masterwork, Les Fleurs du Mal, and a scandalous public trial for obscenity – Duval becomes Baudelaire’s muse, the catalyst for a legacy spanning centuries. Their volatile and passionate affair explodes through the Parisian literary scene but, as the ever-more fractious world catches up with them, the strength of their love will be tested to the end.

Unfolding among the bars and salons during revolutionary times, Black Venus is an intoxicating story of love and betrayal in which drugs, absinthe and lust prove the making, and the destruction, of a great poet.