The Land of Desire

By Diana Stegall

On Going since Jun 2016 • Updated bimonthy

Ahh, France! This year, one percent of the people on Earth will actually pack their bags and visit France. Meanwhile, those of us who aren't so lucky will have eaten a croissant, admired a little black dress, drunk a good bottle of wine, and rewatched Amélie on Netflix yet again. This is where I come in: I’m Diana, a huge history nerd who spends too much time reading about the weird, wacky and wonderful history of France, who wants to share its greatest stories with you!

We’re talking about a country that ran out of cows and figured out how to eat zebras. We’re talking about a country which snuck its greatest national treasure away from the Nazis in the back of an ambulance. We’re talking about a country whose great revolution fought for brotherhood, equality, and a national holiday for marshmallows. Join us every two weeks for a new episode!

All Episodes

  Direct Link   Download 24 Minutes 09 Nov 2017

“It is always an event at Marseilles for a ship to come into port.” – Alexandre Dumas Hello everyone! This week we’ll continue our new miniseries: our very own Tour de France. What kind of France exists outside the boundaries of Paris? What kind of France exists in the middle of the countryside? What does The post Episode 35: “A Tour de France – Marseille” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 25 Minutes 26 Oct 2017

“You never see anyone in the countryside.” – Jacquou le Croquant Hello everyone! This week we’ll continue our new miniseries: our very own Tour de France. What kind of France exists outside the boundaries of Paris? What kind of France exists in the middle of the countryside? What does someone in Paris have in common The post Episode 34: “A Tour de France – Lyon” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 27 Minutes 12 Oct 2017

“We shall see much, but learn very little.” – Jean Ognier Hello everyone! After a much needed vacation, I’m excited to return with a brand new miniseries: our very own Tour de France. What kind of France exists outside the boundaries of Paris? What kind of France exists in the middle of the countryside? What The post Episode 33: “A Tour de France – Montgeron” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 14 Sep 2017

“We have never retreated from anything, ever.” – Stéphane Sirot, labor historian Hello everyone! This week’s episode is a bit timelier than usual – I thought it would be an interesting experiment to dive deeper into some of France’s biggest headlines today. As the French return from their holidays and I prepare to leave for The post Episode 32: Le Code du Travail appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 30 Minutes 31 Aug 2017

“A line of railway tracks, like a zipper, speeding open to the south, to Marseille, to Nice and the Côte d’Azur” – Sylvia Plath, 1956 Hello everyone! This week’s episode is a bit late, as a certain podcast host’s bathtub stopped working, flooded her entire apartment, and delayed things a wee bit. Thanks for your The post Episode 31: Le Train Bleu appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 17 Minutes 10 Aug 2017

“A Moveable Feast.” – Ernest Hemingway We have a new milestone! This week, The Land of Desire will reach a quarter of a million downloads – absolutely incroyable. Thank you to everyone who participated in The Land of Desire’s anniversary celebrations, and to those of you who shared my series on how to start a podcast, and The post Episode 30: The History Of The Picnic appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 21 Minutes 27 Jul 2017

“We are locked in history and they were not.” – Werner Herzog We’re back! Thank you to everyone who participated in The Land of Desire’s anniversary celebrations. Extra thanks to those of you who shared my series on how to start a podcast, and those of you who contributed to the show’s Patreon page. This The post Episode 29: La Zoologie – “The Caves” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 21 Minutes 13 Jul 2017

“Bienvenue and welcome to The Land of Desire.” – me, 7/14/2016 WE DID IT! This Friday, The Land of Desire officially turns one year old! I’m completely blown away by everything that’s happened in the last year – getting featured on the iTunes Store, getting played on the CBC (twice!), getting to hear from fans all The post Episode 28: “Bon Anniversaire!” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 23 Minutes 29 Jun 2017

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” – Yogi Berra This week, we’ll wrap up our series “We’ll Always Have Paris” focusing on the history of tourism in France. Paris is in many ways a city constructed by and for tourism: tourism shapes which landmarks are preserved, which civic resources are available, and whose needs are prioritized. The post Episode 27: “We’ll Always Have Paris: Paris Syndrome” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 33 Minutes 08 Jun 2017

“Everyone in Paris once.” – German military catchphrase This week, we’ll continue our series “We’ll Always Have Paris” focusing on the history of tourism in France. Tuesday was D-Day, so let’s take a look at an understudied element of the hospitality industry: occupation tourism. What happens when an entire army comes to town? What happens when your conquerors The post Episode 26: “We’ll Always Have Paris: A Visit from Hitler” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 24 Minutes 25 May 2017

“I have come to liberate the Ritz.” – Ernest Hemingway This week, we’ll continue our series “We’ll Always Have Paris” focusing on the history of tourism in France. I don’t know about you, but after all this history, I could use a drink! Luckily, I know just the place. This week, we sneak behind the bar The post Episode 25: “We’ll Always Have Paris: The Ritz Paris Bar” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 23 Minutes 11 May 2017

“A public monument is not there just for lovers.” – city official, Paris (2014) Now that summer’s around the corner, Paris is bracing itself for the annual influx of tourists. With 36 million tourists passing through Paris every year, tourism has a profound influence on the capital and the country at large. Tiny trends morph into The post Episode 24: “We’ll Always Have Paris: Love Locks” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 34 Minutes 25 Apr 2017

“No one but myself knows…the trouble I give myself.” – Claude Monet What are you doing April 26th? If you’re in San Francisco, the answer could be seeing ME, your friendly neighborhood podcast host, helping to launch the Legion of Honor’s newest book club, Page Views. In honor of their newest exhibition, Monet: The Early Years, The post Episode 23: “Four’s Company: The Scandalous House of Claude Monet” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 21 Minutes 06 Apr 2017

“Life is the flower for which love is the honey.” – Victor Hugo Spring is in the air! After such a spooky, scary episode last month, I’m keeping the newest episode short and, dare I say it, sweet! This week, we take a detour into the life of French bees to learn more about their surprising history, The post Episode 22: “The Sweet Life of French Bees” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 23 Mar 2017

“Où est-elle la mort ? Toujours future ou passée. A peine est-elle présente, que déjà elle n’est plus.” – inscription, Paris catacombs This week we’re drilling deeeeeeep into the history of Paris, all the way through the layers of modern construction, past the detritus of two thousand years of civilization, all the way into the The post Episode 21: “The Road To Hell” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 27 Minutes 09 Mar 2017

“One has always had a childhood, whatever one becomes.” – Alexandre Dumas fils This week, we’ll conclude my mini-series about the three men named Alexandre Dumas: Alexandre Dumas the war hero; his son, Alexandre Dumas the author; and his grand-son, Alexandre Dumas the playwright. Together, all three men rose to the top of their professions, garnering tremendous fame The post Episode 20: “The Three Alexandres, Part 4” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 30 Minutes 23 Feb 2017

“Why do you mention my father?” screamed he; “Why do you mingle a recollection of him with the affairs of today?” – Edmond Dantes, The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) This week, I’m continuing my mini-series about the three men named Alexandre Dumas: Alexandre Dumas the war hero; his son, Alexandre Dumas the author; and his The post Episode 19: “The Three Alexandres, Part 3” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 43 Minutes 02 Feb 2017

“Oh my god! My god! What have I done?” – General Dumas, 1806 This week, I’m continuing my mini-series about the three men named Alexandre Dumas: Alexandre Dumas the war hero; his son, Alexandre Dumas the author; and his grand-son, Alexandre Dumas the playwright. Together, all three men rose to the top of their professions, garnering tremendous The post Episode 18: “The Three Alexandres, Part 2” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 33 Minutes 19 Jan 2017

“Men are born and remain free and equal in rights.” – Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, 1789 This week, I’m kicking off a new mini-series about the three men named Alexandre Dumas: Alexandre Dumas the war hero; his son, Alexandre Dumas the author; and his grand-son, Alexandre Dumas the playwright. The post Episode 17: “The Three Alexandres, Part 1” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 22 Minutes 05 Jan 2017

“Secrecy is the soul of the Compagnie.” – La Compagnie statutes Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. Happy New Year! I can’t wait to share another year of stories with all of you. To kick things off, The post Episode 16: “The Noblemen Who Dressed In Rags” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 16 Minutes 22 Dec 2016

“The yule-log sparkled keen with frost, No wing of wind the region swept, But over all things brooding slept The quiet sense of something lost.” – Alfred, Lord Tennyson Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. The post Episode 15: “Bûche de Noël” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 12 Minutes 08 Dec 2016

“omg.” – me, December 2016 Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. After coming back from a long holiday, I checked my download stats and realized I’d just passed an amazing milestone: 100,000 downloads!! I’m blown away, considering this show The post Episode 14: “100,000!” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 31 Minutes 17 Nov 2016

“Long live the Republic! Long live the truth!” – Alfred Dreyfus, 1899 Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. This week we conclude our series on The Dreyfus Affair: one of the most definitive moments in The post Episode 13: “The Dreyfus Affair, Part 6” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 31 Minutes 17 Nov 2016

“The dawn of justice was rising for me.” – Alfred Dreyfus, 1899 Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. This week we continue our series on The Dreyfus Affair: one of the most definitive moments in The post Episode 12: “The Dreyfus Affair, Part 5” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 38 Minutes 08 Nov 2016

“All men interested – that is, all lovers of truth and justice throughout the world – held their breath, and waited.” – George Barlow, 1898 Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. This week we continue The post Episode 11: “The Dreyfus Affair, Part 4” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 29 Minutes 03 Nov 2016

“My duty is to speak out!” – Emile Zola, J’Accuse!, 1898 Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. This week we continue our series on The Dreyfus Affair: one of the most definitive moments in French history. The post Episode 10: “The Dreyfus Affair, Part 3” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 37 Minutes 20 Oct 2016

“Fear! That is their political means. They engender it, they inoculate it, and, once they’ve frightened a certain class of citizens, they present themselves as saviors” – Leon Gambetta Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. This The post Episode 9: “The Dreyfus Affair, Part 2” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 29 Minutes 20 Oct 2016

“Lord, we are a guilty, woeful country.” – National Assembly Prayer, May 1871 Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. This week we examine the climax of the Belle Époque, the moment when all the cultural The post Episode 8: “The Dreyfus Affair, Part 1” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 21 Minutes 06 Oct 2016

“Gourmet /n./ Anyone whom, when you fail to finish something strange or revolting, remarks that it’s an acquired taste and that you’re leaving the best part.” – Anonymous Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. This The post Episode 7: “A Long Way To Escargot” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 27 Minutes 22 Sep 2016

“Her name is Berthe Morisot, and she is a curiosity.” – Le Figaro, 1880 Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. This week’s episode continues my new series which I’m really excited about: La Belle Époque, the The post Episode 6: “Manet & Morisot & Manet” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 7 Minutes 15 Sep 2016

“Nobody is ever gonna listen to this.” – me, July 2016 Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. This week, I’m offering a BONUS episode to celebrate…10,000 DOWNLOADS! Considering I only launched this podcast 8 weeks ago, I’m The post BONUS: “10,000!” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 21 Minutes 08 Sep 2016

“No social being is less protected than the young Parisian girl – by laws, regulations, and social customs. – Le Figaro, 1880 Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. This week’s episode continues my new series which The post Episode 5: “Belles of the Belle Epoque” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 29 Minutes 25 Aug 2016

“The old Paris is passing.” Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. This week’s episode marks the beginning of a series I’m really excited about: La Belle Époque, the Golden Age of Paris. In the years The post Episode 4: “A Tale of Two Cities” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 28 Minutes 11 Aug 2016

Faster, higher, stronger. Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. I originally intended to follow up my episode on the Siege of Paris with the beginning of a series on the Commune. Instead, I found myself glued The post Episode 3: “The Olympics” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 0 Minutes 28 Jul 2016

Dinner is served. Welcome back to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. For the next two episodes, we’re going to focus on war, food, and how much a country’s food culture is the result of military conflict. If that sounds boring, how The post Episode 2: “We Ate A Zoo” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 29 Minutes 12 Jul 2016

Joyeux Quatorze Juillet! Welcome to The Land of Desire, a French history podcast dedicated to exploring all the weird adventures, mysteries and surprising backstories behind French cultural icons. We’re kicking things off with a bang! Today, France celebrates itself with parades, picnics, and of course, the traditional fireworks. July 14th – “Bastille Day” to Americans – is The post Episode 1: “Bastille Day” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 165 Minutes 30 Jun 2016

The post Episode 0 – “Teaser” appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

  Direct Link   Download 0 Minutes 29 Jun 2016

Welcome to The Land of Desire, a podcast on French history and culture. You’re a bit early – I’m planning to debut the first episode on July 14th, covering what else but Bastille Day! In the meantime, drop me a line if you have questions and I’ll look forward to sharing with everyone soon! The post Bienvenue! appeared first on The Land of Desire.. . .

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