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Brigitte Coppin, author of more than 128 books, will talk about the Middle Ages

Un livre pour petits et grands

Born in 1955 in Haute-Normandie, Brigitte has loved the sea and boats since childhood, history in general and the Middle Ages in particular.

In 1984, after studying languages, a master's degree in medieval architecture and some journalism, she began writing for children's publishing.

She has published nearly 280 books: novels, stories, documentaries, docu-fictions and translations, with Gallimard, Flammarion, Casterman, Fleurus, Nathan...

Through her books, she gives us a detailed insight into life in the Middle Ages in castles, towns and villages.

She also knows how to take us on the seas with the pirates and sailors of the Renaissance.

Since 2006, Brigitte has lived in Albi, where she has written a history of the city. She meets her readers in libraries and schools, and is happy to lead writing workshops for children.

Among the books you have written, which ones did you like the most? For what reasons? « My novels are the ones that carry me away the most (although writing documentaries is very interesting!) because I express my emotions in them and, without doubt, I create characters that are a little or a lot like me. Among my novels, what a difficult choice! I have a fondness for Anna in Anna, Prisoner of the Plague, for Thomas and Alix in Le château des Poulfenc, for Aliette in La demoiselle sans visage... »

Why did you choose books for young people ? « As luck would have it, Gallimard Jeunesse offered me historical retellings in the early 1980s. That's how I got my foot in the door of children's publishing, which was booming at the time. I felt good about it and Gallimard was a wonderful springboard. I then worked for other publishers without ever leaving children's publishing. » What do you like about the Middle Ages? You could have "escaped" by traveling to the Romans or the 18th century... It's hard to say why you like it! The Middle Ages that I think I know a little bit about are mainly those of feudalism. The silhouette of a fortified castle is worth a thousand times the gilding of Versailles. After so many years of working with the Middle Ages, I still find them exotic and mysterious. I like the fact that it was the time before Descartes, before the supremacy of humans over nature, before rationalism and consumerism at all costs. What was better in the Middle Ages than in our time?

The problem is that the reality of the Middle Ages must have been very different from what books and historians describe, despite their research. I am, we are, today totally unsuited to such a harsh life, such a constrained society. About 40% of people died before the age of 20, but the planet earth was doing well. Which books will you bring to the castle of Goudourville during the weekend of October 22 and 23, 2022 ? Ah ah, surprise! Novels and documentaries, about 5 copies of about 20 titles, mostly about the Middle Ages, of course.

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