Fiona McIntosh Shares 5 Surprising Things She Learned While Researching The Champagne War

Fiona McIntosh Shares 5 Surprising Things She Learned While Researching The Champagne War

In Fiona McIntosh’s The Champagne War, rural France’s famous vineyards form a stunning backdrop to a heart-stopping adventure about the true power of love and hope during World War One. Naturally, for Fiona, roaming the world and drawing inspiration from the people, places and produce she encounters is an industrial necessity. (We know: half her luck, right?) So it’s no wonder she decided to place a novel in this most romantic and evocative of settings. Here Fiona reveals five surprising things she learned while researching The Champagne War.

  1. All that stood between the Kaiser’s Army and its target – Paris – was the sprawling vineyards of the Champagne region and the city of Rheims. If the two major offensives by the German army in that region had not been resisted, Paris would have fallen and Europe might have looked very different.
  2. The entire city of Rheims was razed during WWI – including its glorious cathedral – and its civilians lived a subterranean life of survival for four years underground in the ancient champagne cellars that ran for hundreds of kilometres below the city. Children were born, raised, taken to school beneath the city. City council meetings, hospital, residential life… even concerts took place in the champagne caves.
  3. There was such a massive sugar shortage that it was impossible to get hold of once stocks ran out. Sugar beet fields were turned to trenches, which meant the entire champagne industry was gravely threatened; most of it on hold during the worst times.
  4. Life in Paris continued somewhat normally, including restaurants, parties, opera and concerts, despite war on its north-eastern border, and its troops fighting in Flanders as much as along the eastern border of France.
  5. Polish-born Marie Curie had to quickly acquire French so that she could study at the Sorbonne in Paris. She and her husband shared the Nobel Prize for their research into spontaneous radiation with Becquerel who discovered it. And then to top that she won the Nobel Prize in her own right, this time in chemistry, in recognition of her work into radioactivity. She developed a troop of mobile x-ray units during WWI and drove them right up to the field hospitals at the front line, making a world of difference to the treatment of injured soldiers.

Reviews

Check out an Extract From The Champagne War by Bestselling Author Fiona McIntosh

Review | Extract

24 November 2020

Check out an Extract From The Champagne War by Bestselling Author Fiona McIntosh

    Sweeping Historical Fiction: Read our Review of The Champagne War by Fiona McIntosh

    Review | Our Review

    23 November 2020

    Sweeping Historical Fiction: Read our Review of The Champagne War by Fiona McIntosh

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        Publisher details

        The Champagne War
        Author
        Fiona McIntosh
        Publisher
        Penguin
        Genres
        Fiction, Historical Fiction
        Released
        13 April, 2021
        ISBN
        9780143795469

        Synopsis

        From the killing fields of Ypres to the sun-kissed vineyards of rural France, The Champagne War is a heart-stopping adventure about the true power of love and hope to light the way during war. The heart-stopping new blockbuster by the bestselling author of The Diamond Hunter. In the summer of 1914, vigneron Jerome Méa heads off to war, certain he’ll be home by Christmas. His new bride Sophie, a fifth generation champenoise, is determined to ensure the forthcoming vintages will be testament to their love and the power of the people of Épernay, especially its strong women. But as the years drag on, authorities advise that Jerome is missing, considered dead. When poison gas is first used in Belgium by the Germans, British chemist Charles Nash jumps to enlist. After he is injured, he is brought to Reims, where Sophie has helped to set up an underground hospital to care for the wounded. In the dark, ancient champagne cellars, their stirring emotions take them both by surprise. While Sophie battles to keep her vineyard going through the bombings, a critical sugar shortage forces her to strike a dangerous bargain with an untrustworthy acquaintance – but nothing will test her courage more than the news that filters through to her about the fate of her heroic Jerome.
        Fiona McIntosh
        About the author

        Fiona McIntosh

        Fiona McIntosh is an internationally bestselling author of novels for adults and children. She co-founded an award-winning travel magazine with her husband, which they ran for fifteen years while raising their twin sons before she became a full-time author. Fiona roams the world researching and drawing inspiration for her novels, and runs a series of highly respected fiction masterclasses. She calls South Australia home.

        Books by Fiona McIntosh

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        1. Marlene says:

          I’ve read all your books and did enjoy the Champagne War. Must say I was a little sad with the ending. But thank you, I await your next book. 💜

        2. Suzanne Gardiner says:

          I have read all your books and can’t wait for the next story. I’m half way through The Champagne Wars, enjoying the historical fiction, as usual.