Friday, August 12, 2011

Bécassine - the story


Bécassin is considered the first female protagonist in the history of comics. She is a young Breton housemaid created by Jacqueline Rivière and Joseph Pinchon in 1905. She is considered the birth of the modern bande dessinée inspiring Hergé (The Adventures of Tintin) in the 1920s.

These books were seen in the window of a bookseller in Passage Jouffroy, a covered arcade in the 9ième arrondissement.

I first encountered this heroine through collecting antique fêves, which is another story...


Librarie Paul Vulin
Passage Jouffroy
Métro Grands Boulevards



33 comments:

classic • casual • home said...

Hmmm. Now I want the rest of your story.

Sylvia K said...

Yes, me too! Your photos are always a delight, Genie! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, mon amie!

Sylvia

beau gosse said...

These would be enchanting as framed artwork in a baby or child's room! Thanks, Genie...and I await another installment for the rest of your backstory as well! ^_^

Richard Moisan said...

Bécassine, c'est ma cousine. Non, elle ne m'a jamais fait rêver, mais elle a bercé mon enfance et m'a sans doute appris à aimer la campagne.
Les rêves d'enfant ne s'oublient pas.

Dianne said...

I've not heard of Becassin before Genie but oh! I remember strolling up Passage Jouffroy well.

Pet said...

I haven't heard of Bécassine either, she is cute.

Shell Sherree said...

These vintage illustrations are charming, as is the story behind them. Thanks for the Bécassine lesson, Genie.

biebkriebels said...

I love those old books with illustrations.

Malyss said...

Meanwhile, boys were reading "les pieds nickelés. A little too old for me,when I was a kid I read the "Lili" stories (I still have them all!)Becassine was so famous that even today, her name is a way to say to a girl that she's not very clever..

dive said...

Oh, what beautifully drawn covers!. I shall certainly look for some Bécassine next time I'm in Paris. Delightful, Genie.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Now I am totally intrigued Genie, according to my French dictionaire, a 'feve' is a broad bean, so 'antique feves' somehow methinks I've lost something in the translation haha!I love that the first French heroine was way back in 1905, such forward thinkers the French!! Have a great weekend Genie..

M said...

You certainly captured the rainbow of colors displayed in that lovely shop. I loved all the old children's books and magazines. You have put a smile on my face!

Halcyon said...

Cute. I love those stands full of colorful books. Which Becassine did you get in your cake?

Virginia said...

I would love to frame a series of these covers and hang in a group!
V

Hana de Prague said...

Thank you for sharing, Genie, I didn´t know it at all!
Hana

Ann said...

Hmmm... that was really informative.

Interesting story,
love it,
thanks for sharing ♥

Birdman said...

And will we hear the 'rest of the story'?

Dyche Designs said...

Beautiful capture.

Starman said...

One imagines these are read primarily by the ladies.

martinealison said...

J'ADORE Bécassine... J'ai lu bécassine, j'ai dessiné bécassine... J'aime les poupée chiffon de bécassine...
Superbe publication.
Gros bisous

Rob-bear said...

A lovely "book" with an interesting history. A delightful find, and picture, Genie.

The Little Dog Laughs said...

Not familiar with the comics, but does bring back delightful childhood memories when books were, still are, oh such good friends...even if they're on a Kindle. :) xox Alexandra

Janey and Co. said...

Okay. I will admit that I had to look up Feves....now I know..

Love the colorful old illustrations !

Bibi said...

Although I was an adult even then, I loved to read Becassine. I almost bought a doll...

Kris said...

These books are adorable! The colors are so bright and colorful. I especially love old book...New books, old books any books. LOL

Klaudia B. said...

fantastic blog!

kisses,
Klaudia B.

Louise said...

I've never heard of Becassine. Thanks for the lesson Genie. And a lovely photo to look at

Jack said...

I know nothing about this, of course, but I am proud to report that my very first thought upon seeing it was Tintin.

Randy said...

I love the illustrations in children's books.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I have a little collection of children's books from France, most of which were picked up in the Latin Quarter from the used books sellers. I wish that I had purchased one of these.

I did not know that Bécassine was considered rather dense and that her name had become a regular derogatory noun (or perhaps adjective as well). Her bright colors, the drawings so crisp... did you notice that she does not have a mouth?

I will tell you the story of the fêves with photos very soon and weave the threads of Bécassine into the tale.

Bisous,
Genie

beau gosse said...

The Fève
The fève, or bread bean, is the first to emerge from the ground after winter. So in the Middle Ages, a broad bean was hidden in the King's Cake, symbolizing fertility and new life. The beans are still used in Kings' cakes today. But nowadays, the more popular prize is porcelain. Porcelain replaced the bean in the late 1800s. At that time, Germany was producing large quantities of miniature tea sets and dolls which ended up circulating throughout Europe. Bakers started placing these porcelain babies and toys in their cakes and continued to do so until World War I. When trade with Germany ended during war time, French companies took over fève production. In the 1940s, the plastic fève was born.Today's figurines come in every imaginable representation, sometimes based on classic icons, regions of France, cartoon characters, or even current films. Porcelain fèves are also available by special order and can be custom-designed around any theme or business.



Read more at Suite101: The Kings' Cake & Festival of Kings in France: The Traditional French Fete Observed January 6th is Still Celebrated | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/france-the-kings-cake--the-festival-of-kings-a205037#ixzz1UsmqehCm

Starman said...

BTW, she does have a very obvious mouth.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

beau gosse -- Thank you for the background on fêves... I will use it when I post the connection (for me) between collecting fêves and Bécassine.... Je te souhaite un bon weekend!