Monday, June 15, 2009


Don't expect baguettes and croques-messieurs in this emblogation. This one is about the French pianist Edouard Desirée Boulanger (ca.1820, France-1863, Imperial Hotel, French Concession, Shanghai) whose father Antoino Boulanger was reputed to have been private secretary to Talleyrand that imposing Crystal Chandelier of Gallic History. Thanks to the strange gymnastics of Google-books I thought I'd try and find out who was Talleyrand's secretary. Their were not very many. To whit: Le Clement, Louis Paul d'Autremont, Charles Edouard Colmache (husband of Alice Lee, friend of Helen Faucit), Gallois, Charles Antoine Osmaond, Msr. de Montrond, Rouen, Le Chevalier, Roux-Labourie, Mathieu, Maubreuil (?), Baron D'Ideville, P.A. Heiberg and a Msr Perrey. No Boulanger though. But it looks like ol' Talleyrand went through more secretaries like a Hedge-fund Baron would go through a jumbo box of tissues. 

There was a French money lender named Boulanger who sued Talleyrand's brother in London in 1797. Boulanger had borrowed a VERY LARGE sum of money from that Boulanger. Talleyrand vs. Boulanger is famous it seems in English and American Law, setting some kind of precedent about suing in domestic courts over matters of the breaking of foreign law.

There was an Antonio Boulanger in Paris in the 1770s and he was the one from whom we get the word "restaurant." Wouldn't that be a hoot, if Edouard the pianist, accompanist of Catherine Hayes, pupil of Chopin, teacher, traveller and composer was the grandson/son of the original inventor of a comestible house of restoration? I'd like that.

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