During her nine-month stay in the Chicago, Madame Grandin, a young Parisian school teacher, described her experiences in the city, including visits to the Art Institute of Chicago, the salon of Bertha Palmer, the Woman's Building at the Columbian Exposition, and meetings of the Club français, a precursor to the Alliance française. As she circulated around the city, she jotted down her impressions, noting important differences between French and American family life, education, and politics.
In addition to reading excerpts from Madame Grandin's text, A Parisienne in Chicago, Mary Beth Raycraft discusses her research for the book which included an archival hunt for information about the author and the discovery of Madame Grandin's surprising return to America.
Mary Beth Raycraft is a Senior Lecturer in French at Vanderbilt University where she teaches courses in French composition and nineteenth-century literature and culture. She graduated from Brown University and received a PhD in French literature from New York University. She has published several articles on domestic life in nineteenth-century France and America. Her current research focuses on late nineteenth century French women's accounts of their travels in the United States.
This program has been possible thanks to the support of the Chicago Architectural Foundation and the University of Illinois Press.
Recorded Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at Alliance Francaise de Chicago.