When The World Spoke French
by Marc Fumaroli
I did not read this book and only looked at a couple of pages. As usual, the reviews made it seem that it was a must have. Not at all. If you're a French scholar (like the author) then this book is for you.
The premise is that during the eighteenth century, French culture was the standard for all of Europe. Everyone conversed in the language.
Sound interesting? The first review I read (months ago) gushed, excitedly, about how wonderful the writing was. From what I glimpsed, it's dry and pedantic.
I can't imagine many copies being sold let alone read.