The Widow Clicquot by Tilar J. Mazzeo is a fascinating look at the life of one of the most famous of all champagne houses and the woman who led this company from basic obscurity to a worldwide brand, all this occurring during a time when woman were discouraged from being in business ventures. Writing a story about a woman set during the French Revolutions of the 1800’s is a daunting task that leads to a lot of speculation on behalf of the author as to what actually happened, but what can you expect when writing a story over a century old?
What this book does show is the private side of one of the world’s most powerful women at the time. Barbe-Nicole Ponsardins rise from her bourgeois roots, her determination in the face of constant adversity, and her passion for the champagne region. What really caught my attention in this informative read was the descriptions of the French economy at the time; Everything from the 4 revolutions that changed that face of Champagne to Napoleon favouring Jean-Remy Moet’s champagne. As I read this book I couldn’t help feeling that my efforts in business are a little lackadaisical and I found myself strangely inspired by Barbe-Nicole’s risks and persistence.
This book is well worth the price of admission so pop the top off a ‘Bottle of the Widow’ and enjoy this tale!