The novel about the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman (The Widow Clicquot) - Find out how this woman developed and grew this famous champagne brand.
A great story about the woman behind the famous french champagne brand - Veuve Clicquot.
A good read if you would like to learn more about the champagne process.
What the book also does well is to reinforce the realisation of how hard it was, in the past, for a woman to succeed in a man's world.
The story is about the widow Clicquot, the Veuve Clicquot business woman whose husband dies. It tells us about how she struggles to develop and grow the champagne business.
The book is a factual history about the process, the brand and the woman.It tells of the French Revolution, the precariousness of the champagne business and how her success relied partly on her tenacity and partly on good fortune and luck.
I am in awe of Mme. Clicquot's success BUT she did have some luck on her side. When her husband dies, he has no siblings to take over the business thus leaving it all to her. Had she married again, she would no longer have been in charge.
In addition, the fortunes of both her father & father-in-law lay in textiles.
She had worked very closely with her husband in their wine business so it is natural for her to carry on albeit on her own; the two fathers are supportive but wine is not their forte. She has her father's entrepreneurial characteristics; she's capable of going it alone but she also knows that she can rely on their financial backing should the need arise.
Tenacity and Determination
The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman is extremely tenacious and it is fair to say that this is a massive factor in the success of the business.
She seems to have qualities that have stood her good stead - mainly her stamina, her determination, her courage, & her vision, not to mention her loyalty to those who worked for her.
The Champagne And Wine Process
We learn so much about the wine trade & particularly about the precariousness of it all. It is this info which helps to make this a book for both men & women.
It was very interesting to read about the wine industry though I did find my attention wandering with all the detail. To do justice to Madame Veuve Clicquot business woman and her acumen, I suppose the writer needs to give us so much detail about the growing of vines & its dependency on the weather. but I much preferred the marketing of her wines across Europe as far as Russia especially considering the historical background.
France And Women In France
It is also a history book as the writer describes aspects of the French Revolution & how it affected Rheimes; the Napoleonic Wars & their effect on the whole of Europe, frequently interfering with the Widow's Champagne trade.
The book is also a social document about her family; the wine trade; the effects of the French Revolution on their lives; fashions; the almost anonymous lives of daughters, wives & widows who stayed largely in their drawing rooms. In addition, interestingly, we learn about several widows who also run their own smaller businesses.
Is there anything surprising about this story?
Is the book interesting and insightful?
Has it fuelled your interest in the champagne industry?
The writer sometimes lacks information about Mme Clicquot. Does her "imagination" weaken the credibility of the book for you?
Luck or great business acumen? Which contributes most to the success of the Widow Clicquot?
Our book club gave this book 6/10. But this is an average score with some members hating it and some members loving it - it made for a good discussion as a result.
You do have to like wine to really enjoy this book as there are some quite long descriptive scenes about the process on occasions.
The writer lacks information about the Widow Clicquot, particularly of her younger life. For some this meant the story lost some credibility.
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