Blogging from A to Z: B is for Baincthun

AtoZ2019tenthAnnI was twenty-nine years old when Philippe Andreux came to Baincthun. It was June of 1887.

Philippe sought my father’s advice on winemaking. He had inherited a significant sum of money and decided to become a gentleman vintner. So, he left Paris for Baincthun, which had a reputation as a town where fine wines were made. He could have chosen the Alsace, Bordeaux or any other area, but he came to our village.

The first time I met Philippe, I was riding Josephine back to the house. I was wearing breeches and shirt, with my hair pulled back in a braid. I alighted at the front of the house near a carriage that I did not recognize.

“Mademoiselle?”

A voice that I likewise did not recognize, and then a golden Apollo emerged from the carriage.

— Excerpt from In The Eye of The Beholder


Blason_Baincthun.svg
The heraldic blazon of Baincthun. Chatsam [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D
Baincthun is a village in northern France, about four miles south of Boulogne. Even today, it remains tiny; the most recent census shows 1,293 residents. Its primary industries are farming and quarrying. Its most popular site is a feudal motte. At one time, it did indeed enjoy a reputation for fine wines.

I wanted to give Claire an origin in a small, insular town so that both she and my readers would have a contrast between her life as a young woman, her education, and her eventual adventures.

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