Page 53. " I decide to go into the Luxembourg Gardens. It’s curious how peaceful I feel – as if I were possessed by something. "
Luxembourg Gardens and Palace
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike Luxembourg Gardens and Palace - Credit: Rdevany 

The Jardin du Luxembourg is the grounds of Luxembourg Palace, where the French Senate is situated. The Gardens are in the 6th arrondissement of Paris and famed as a haven of tranquillity in the heart of the capital.



It is the location of the ornate Médici Fountain, built in 1630 and restored by architect of the Arch de Triomphe, Jean Chalgrin, in 1811. Sasha stands and watches the ‘forlorn’ fish in the fountain, darting about like bolts of red and gold.




Medici Fountain
Creative Commons Attribution Medici Fountain - Credit: Keith Gard 





The Gardens feature numerous statues, including those of Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Georges Sand and Ludwig van Beethoven. The original Statue of Liberty also once stood in the Gardens.

Page 54. " Every day I come up to the Quartier Latin "
Latin Quarter
Creative Commons AttributionLatin Quarter - Credit: Celesteh Flickr

The Quartier Latin (Latin Quarter) is a warren of medieval lanes and streets situated in both the 5th and 6th arrondissements on Paris’s Left Bank, itself an area forever associated with sedition, Bohemian penury, intellectuals and students. It takes its name from the fact that Latin was the primary language spoken at the university sighted there until 1789.





Dense with bistros and café-bars, just as it was in Rhys’s time, the shabby authenticity of the area has been replaced with a harder commercial edge. It is also home to the Sorbonne University.

La Sorbonne
Creative Commons AttributionLa Sorbonne - Credit: Bibendem84 Flickr
Page 60. " the Dôme. I’ll avoid the damned Dôme. And, of course, it’s the Dôme I go to "

Le Dôme was Montparnasse’s central hub during the twenties and thirties, where artists of every stripe could ‘rent’ a table for a centime or two, where they drank, wrote, argued and often fell into alcohol-induced snoozes. The laws of the city did not apply inside the walls of Le Dôme. Intellectual or alcoholic aggression was ignored and penniless patrons would often leave a painting, poem, story or composition as payment. As a result, Le Dôme, along with La Rotonde, Le Select and La Closerie des Lilas (where Sasha and the Gigolo later move on to), were often awash with works of art now worth millions. All cafés are still in business.

Page 63. " Just escaped from the Foreign Legion. …La Légion, La Légion Étrangère…. "
Public DomainLegionnaires

An elite unit of the French Army founded in 1831 to help control French colonial Africa, the Foreign Legion has remained in near-constant combat ever since. Open to foreign nationals since its inception, volunteers swear allegiance to the Legion itself, rather than to France. The units comprise men from myriad cultures and countries, and training is notoriously physically and mentally taxing. Susan Travers is the only woman to have ever officially served. Known as ‘La Miss’ by the legionnaires, she was awarded the Légion d’Honneur, Croix de Guerre and Médaille Militaire and died aged 94 in 2003.