Reports of the meetings with Juliette BENZONI
whom we met at least five times a year 2009 - 2016


photo de Mistral,Juliette Benzoni et Frédérique
31.10.2009 → here

03.03.2010 → here

Juliette Benzoni et les filles des grands chemins
25.07.2010 → here


Mistral/Linda,Hélène,Frédérique chez Juliette
30.09.2010 → here

Mistral, Juliette Benzoni et Frédérique - anniversaire de Juliette
30.10.2010 → here

Dédications pour les filles des grands chemins - Mistral,Hélène,Claudia et Frédérique
15.05.2011→ here



A liar ought to have a good memory. This is true even today.
A liar who is going to take the pains to tell a lie should at least
take the time  to remember it when they need to know what they said.

Louis XVI

Juliette Benzoni favourite King


text by Linda , 25 July 2010
I suppose we all know the feeling of "pleasant anticipation" for a happy event! The joy and the excitement when we know we are about to go and visit a special friend, dear to our hearts! There are many ways to describe that. However, sometimes, we would almost prefer to keep beautiful memories to ourselves.
There is no doubt, that I love to share with all the fans of Juliette Benzoni, about Frédérique and my latest visit, to
our phenomenal Juliette, who calls us now: Les Filles des Grands Chemins (according to the fourth Catherine novel: Catherine des Grands Chemins)

We arrived punctually at Saint-Mandé. Amazed we realized that just like with a magic hand, the gate opened and we entered the courtyard. The garden was now full of beautiful flowers. I had stopped a moment and smiling to myself; I have seen it now, in Autumn, Winter, and Summer"! The flowers had a radiant perfume and it felt like the garden was also welcoming us back.

This did surely dear Anne, Juliette Benzoni's warm-hearted and sweet daughter. Oliver the "boss" of the house
, ran to and fro, and his happy "woof woof" accompanied us into the living-room. Juliette got up and made us welcome.

We had so much to talk about, between the obligate delicious glass of champagne and sweets. We talked about her newest book: La dague au lys rouge and I just had to re-tell her how I was able to read my very first French book! Very theatrically on my part, to demonstrate how I had the book in one hand, and the dictionary on my lap! My friend and I had an agreement NOT to ask questions about Juliette's next book
 Le Couteau de Ravaillac. Of course we could not resist.

We told Juliette that we were in contact with many of her faithful fans, who sent us messages, so we could deliver them to her in person. It touched her to the heart to know that from now on she would again be in contact with her readers, as she was when she went to many book salon events in the past.
Juliette Benzoni will appear on television 18 August 2010 on France 2 in Secrets d'Histoire (with Stéphane Bern) and like us, our favourite author is looking forward to it.

We were invited to enjoy a mouth-watering menu! The dessert was so delicious,  we were spoiled like kids on Christmas Eve. Our host shared many awesome news with us, be that from bygone days or events to come. Catherine de Montsalvy, her very first bestseller, was never far from the subject. While talking again about that awful movie from 1969 Catherine, il suffit d'un amour, a co-production of France, Germany and Italy, directed by Bernard Broderie. Anne disappeared for a moment. She returned and showed us a souvenir from that movie, which had made Juliette « cry like a waterfall », as can be read in many old articles.

It was a goblet like they used in Medieval times. Celebrating the film with a fantastic banquet (and an enormous budget!) all guests had received a goblet, which they were able to take home. On the bottom is an engraving with the text: CATHERINE LIRA FILMS 1968. Juliette with a twinkling eye said: "Linda, I present you this souvenir to take home! Juliette knows of course that I absolutely hate that film - but hating or no hating, this is a rare object for me the Catherine fan. Thank you very much my very dear Juliette. Your generosity knows no boundaries towards us and we cannot say in words how much we appreciate it .

small image  - click - large image

It was our turn in the afternoon to surprise her, with the song of Catherine ma Mie, the chanson back from 1965. She was deeply stirred to listen to it again. Juliette had written the words to the song and the music was composed by Paul Amar. And that at the time when only two of the Catherine books were yet published! She had heard the Ballad a long time ago, sung by a woman. It was a premiere for her, to listen nowto Stéphane Bernard presenting the enchanting song, Juliette was moved to tears.

As I have promised, I wanted to lift the secret of Arnaud de Montsalv's father Amaury!
I explained to Juliette, that while reading last week: Le Sang, La Gloire et l'Amour chapter two Bertrand du Guesclin, I stumbled on the name of Constable du Guesclin's page Amaury! Like it was to be expected, Juliette wanted to see the book and where the name was mentioned! For a moment I admit, I was almost embarrassed and anxiously watched her face, while the thought crossed my mind for a second, now I really have asked something silly! But I did not have to have fears. She looked up and gave us that distinctive Juliette Benzoni look we have come to love so much. What she told me, made me blush a bit, and you will understand, that I want to keep it for myself...

I showed Juliette the Italian edition of La passione di Catherine. As I had imagined, Juliette knew at once an anecdote to relate, when she saw this glamorous image of herself. Actually, it is a rarity I have gathered there, without knowing it. It shows Juliette Benzoni the day she went to her publisher Editions Trévise, to sign the first time Catherine!


thank you LaLuna for this beautiful creation

We asked her with mischievously how we must address her now. She is actually a Countess with the exact name of: Contessa Benzoni di Conza! Learning at the same time, that the Italian publisher Garzanti, had made a spelling mistake. It says there: Contessa Benzoni di Couza, instead of Conza! Juliette smiled, and of course it is Juliette. But just for fun I told her, that my family had made some researches and found out that they had once been of nobility. Now it was her turn to tease me! Just have a look at her dedication in my Italian edition of La passione di Catherine.

What I do not want to miss to say today is: Juliette Benzoni will gladly answer Mistral's 12 questions. I confess, I am always very nervous, when I send out the questions! Never forgetting, that I am not a real journalist! But asking my favourite author, it did need a bit of encouragement from my dear friend Frédérique!

Today we want also to thank Anne, Juliette's wonderful daughter, for surprising us with those incredible adorable photos of her mother. One of them shows Juliette as a young girl of eleven and the other as a eighteen year old girl. We know, these photos have to our knowledge never been seen, except in private. Anne, how can we ever thank you for this stupendous gift
? Juliette gave us her consent to share these photos with you.

(thank you LaLuna for these beautiful creations)

The Sunday, we had all awaited with great delight, came slowly to an end. How happy and touched we were, when Juliette asked us:" when will you girls come again" soon I hope?" Yes dear dear Juliette, your girls will come, whenever and as long as you like us to be at Saint-Mandé, together with you, Anne and of course Oliver.

yours very faithfuly

« Les filles des grands chemins »
Linda & F

I would like to send Frédérique a big hug for this beautiful contribution
about our magical weekend at Saint-Mandé. BRAVO


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