A strong female character, a look at the consequences of the French Revolution outside the walls of Paris and a history of the ubiquitous celebratory bubbly – this great historical look at the Barbe-Nicole Clicquot was as informative as it was enjoyable.
Yes, I was a little late to the game of Tilar Mazzeo’s The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It (the paperback came out in 2009), I had heard about it, and even had a borrowed version sitting on my shelf for quite a while – so I aimed to finish it by New Year’s Eve 2012, which I did. I came into the book knowing very little about The Widow and her history so I really fell right into her story. Coming from a privileged background, she married but became a young widow. She had worked with her husband on their wine business, and with the rules of the time, as a widow in France, she could become a businesswoman in her own right – and she did. Barbe-Nicole’s story really does show her perseverance, the business was taken to the brink many times but through her hard work, ingenuity, grit and sometime just pure luck she made it through to create one of the most famous brands in the world.
Regardless of how long ago this book came out, it is a story that doesn’t grow old, and really is an inspiring lesson from a strong woman.