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.
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.
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.