The Living Legacy of Shakespeare & Company

The View from the First Floor Window of Shakespeare & Co., Monday, April 17, 2006

The Living Legacy of Shakespeare & Company

Parler Paris Previews…
A Weekly Community Calendar for English-Speaking Paris

Click here for Community Calendar #105 or scroll down for more information

Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Paris, France

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July 15 – 20, 2006

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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

This is certainly not the first time I’ve written about the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore and I doubt it will be the last. I’ve sat on a stool crammed between other intent listeners on the first floor of the ancient shop overlooking the Seine to hear a writer’s important words on so many occasions there is no hope to count them. Perhaps even you are bored with reading so much about this tiny corner of Paris that has become over the years, since George Whitman opened it in 1951, the center of American activity and history in the City of Light.

Every Monday night, Shakespeare & Co. sponsors a reading…by someone, usually of note. This past Monday, authors Meredith Mullins (“In a Paris Moment“) and Maxine Rose Shur (“Places in Time“) presented their words and works before the usual standing-room-only crowd nestled among the collection of books that are signed “These Books are Not for Sale.”

They were delightful, fascinating and enlightening, but the real star is the living legacy of Shakespeare & Co. — the young, pale-skinned, wispy blonde-haired damsel who really runs the show — Sylvia Beach Whitman.

When I first met Sylvia not long after she returned to Paris following her education in England to help her father run the store, she was a mere 22 years of age; George was pushing 90 then. I remember my exact words: “Why you can’t possibly be George’s daughter!” And I became infatuated that very moment with this stunningly beautiful, bright, enthusiastic, mature and clearly good-hearted young woman whose aura cast a glow on the dimly lit shop like a lantern in the night.

Since that time, Sylvia, who carries the namesake of her predecessor, Sylvia Beach, the first owner of the famous bookstore which was originally situated on rue de l’Odéon not far away, not only carries the torch for those before her, but is creating a whole new wave of energy and excitement surrounding the English language literary community in Paris.

Sylvia never stops making improvements to the facility, creating new ways of communicating with her customers and fans, stocking a more complete inventory of books, plus bringing the community together, all while keeping her aging father satisfied that his offspring, both the shop and Sylvia, are prospering.

This coming June 15 – 18, 2006, Sylvia is spearheading a Four Day Literary Celebration entitled “Travel in Words,” the second festival of its kind for her to have created. It’s a massive undertaking, not unlike the first one in June of 2003 that lasted eight days celebrating the “Lost, Beat, and New Generations.”

The 2006 Festival, focusing on travel writing, will take place under a tent in the Réné Viviani park next to Shakespeare and Co. The events, which are free and open to all, feature readings, panel discussions, walking tours, writing workshops and documentary screenings. There are seventeen well-known and award-winning authors participating and a writing competition will accompany the event. Entries are being sought on the topic “Travel by Train.” Winning essays will be published in Eurostar magazine and the prize is two first class Eurostar tickets!

For a full list of details for authors and events, visit and for further information contact Sylvia Whitman at [email protected]

Making a stop at Shakespeare & Co. at 37, rue de la Bûcherie in the 5th arrondissement, facing the Seine and Notre Dame, should be on every American’s list of most important places in Paris to visit, right up there with the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Trio

mphe, if not before…and while you’re there, see if you can spy, sitting at the front desk, or working among the books, surrounded by her menagerie of pets, the city’s shining star — Sylvia Beach Whitman.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

P.S. We are pleased to report that registrations are flowing in and many of you are happily coming to New Orleans for the Living and Investing in France Round Table May 27th! To learn more and make your reservation to join us, for the Round Table and/or for Dinner at Tujague’s, click here.



French Property Insider

Something Great Comes from Something Bad
Excerpt from Parler Paris Special Sunday Edition
Sunday, April 9, 2006

Something good usually comes as a result of something bad. First, I’ll give you the good news, then the bad news, then…the great news!…FPI Subscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France. French Property Insider is an e-mail newsletter from the editors of Parler Paris. Learn all the insights, recommendations, and discoveries about buying and investing in real estate in Paris and France that French Property Insider readers get every week.

To learn more, visit /frenchproperty/insider or go directly to subscribe at /frenchproperty/insider/subscribetofpi.html

Subscribe today!

Insider Paris Guides

* Excerpt from the Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France

I have been reading about the riots and demonstrations, but there is little information on exactly what the new law is about. The only thing I understood that there is a new two-year probationary period. Must be nice to have such job security; this is not available to most people in the United States. Am I missing something?

In this case like many others, comparing the system in these two countries can be completely misleading to the extent of missing the point. First of all, this new legislation was presented as the solution to two problems that have been identified regarding young people finding jobs.

1 – The riots in the “banlieues” made everyone acknowledge that these young people did not have a fair chance of getting hired considering their address of residence, their name, and their ethnic background…

For the complete answer, see the guide….

NEW Spring 2006 Edition now available! The Insider Guide to Practical Answers for Living in France is packed with almost 300 questions from real people, for real people…and the practical answers that will save you countless hours of frustration. If you’re moving to France, this guide is a must! Get your copy now!

To read his latest column, visit /parlerparis/practicalanswers.html

Further Resources

* Spend an Afternoon with Adrian Leeds in home town, New Orleans, learning how to make your dream to live and invest in France come true! Living and Investing in France Round Table, May 27, 2006, 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., plus cocktails and dinner at historic Tujague’s Restaurant, New Orleans.

* Moving to Paris? Our experienced relocation expert will help make your move easy and hassle-free. We offer complete property consultation and search services…visit

* Practice your French or English in a fun and friendly environment with interesting people from all over the world at Parler Parlor…visit

Calendar #105
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Paris, France


To access the complete Community Calendar, you now have two choices:

1. Click here for the online version with hot links to your favorite sites:

2. Click here for a printer-friendly text version:


We gladly run announcements for non-profit organizations. If you wish your community announcement to appear, please provide the text in ENGLISH just as you’d like it to appear and send it to Lynda Sydney: [email protected]

We reserve the right to edit as necessary. We cannot promise it will be run if the
information is provided in French or if the format is unacceptable. Please use the following listings as your format guide.

Thank you, Adrian

Classified Advertising


Coming soon…Parler Paris Apartments rental representation at If you have a property ín Paris you’d like to keep booked and represented properly, please email Parler Paris Apartments at [email protected] for more information.

For all short term rental apartments in Paris, take a look at /parlerparis/apartments or
/frenchproperty/insider/longterm.html for long term apartments.


Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris:

The next gathering is May 9, 2006

Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like.


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Copyright 2006, Adrian Leeds®, Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
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