The Chateau d'Hardelot is home to the "Centre Culturel de l'Entente Cordiale," a permanent exhibition curated by best-selling author Stephen Clarke. This beautiful museum is set in a small French village that was popular with Charles Dickens when he needed to escape prying Victorian eyes to be with his mistress.
Clarke, who will lead this exclusive tour, describes the collaboration that resulted in the exhibition:
Back in 2012 the director of the Château d'Hardelot contacted me explaining that he intended to transform the temporary exhibition space into the "Centre Culturel de l'Entente Cordiale" based on my book 1000 Years of Annoying the French.
We began a very fruitful exchange during which I suggested historical events that needed to be depicted, and the director went off in search of paintings, furniture, statues and other objects in every auction house and museum in France, buying, borrowing and requisitioning.
The result is a spectacular permanent exhibition that opened in 2014, and includes a fire screen depicting Joan of Arc, cartoons both mocking and glorifying Napoleon, furniture that belonged to King Louis-Philippe--a great Anglophile who first used the phrase "cordiale entente"--and busts of Queen Victoria and Napoleon III, on whom she had something of a crush.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear Stephen Clarke telling anecdotes about all this as you tour the Château. Transport to/from the train station in the historic fishing port Boulogne-sur-Mer, the museum entry fee and tour plus lunch are included in the fee. Full details will be available in late March.
About the Instructor: When he self-published A Year in the Merde in 2004, printing up just 200 copies, author Stephen Clarke never dreamed it would become a worldwide bestseller, translated into more than 20 languages. Since then he has written 5 more "Merde" novels as well as several other books that offer a humorous perspective on France and the French. The Merde Factor, Stephen Clarke's popular stage adaptation of one of his best-selling "Merde" novels was presented as part of WICE's 40th birthday celebrations last year.
Photo Credit: Public Domain