Where does the journalist and history lover Frédérick Gersal live?
Wonderful storyteller, Frédérick Gersal has the art of staging the little stories of our great history, whether in Télématin on France 2 or on France Info and France Bleu. He has just published "The day where ... The 100 dates that made the history of France" at Albin Michel (January 2016), the opportunity to visit him on his lands Poitevin. Interview.
Since the 90s, it is in a small village of Poitevin which his wife is native that Frédérick Gersal has taken up residence. He still remembers the first visit, on a winter day in the pouring rain ... Dating back to 1850, this rustic tile-roofed house is built of stone and brick; it has the distinction of being all in length. It was ideal to accommodate a large family. The favorite was immediate and the deal concluded. A wink of history - family - she had belonged to one of her in-laws.
After upgrading and some work of comfort, it was habitable very quickly. Since then, even if the children have left, this house remains the rallying point and haven of our history buff. The day I met Frédérick, he was in the middle of all his books to admire his latest acquisition which completes his collection of dictionaries, an opus dedicated to the woodcock! Is not a bibliophile who wants ...
Your favorite room where you like to be and spend time?
Frederick Gersal : My desk ! It is at the end of the house, I'm quiet but the door is still open. When the children were small, they could enter. I was so used to having a father who closed his own. When I'm not in Paris for my shows, I spend a lot of time because the books give me the answers to my questions and that's where I do all my research.
What I liked in this room at the beginning, it is its walls in visible stones which it is today very difficult to guess since over the years, they were literally covered with my books. I love to hunt on antique book fairs and I have a passion for classic dictionaries, languages, synonyms, proper names ... And I remain on the lookout for the most unusual topics. So this woodcock dictionary is my latest find.
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Do you have a storage tip for your books?
Frederick Gersal : They are classified by theme. As a library, I installed raw wood shelves of different sizes, not counting the columns of books on the ground. If I have in mind perfectly, my storage with benchmarks, I prefer that nobody touches: there is no place for vacuuming! And when I have to make room for the arrival of new books, then I distribute the old ones to my friends ... otherwise I drop them at Emmaus. Their sale will help the companions.
A tiny glimpse of the library ...
In addition to your collection of dictionaries, do you have other collections?
Frederick Gersal: I have a collection of hammers because these objects are amazing, and of all shapes. I started it a bit by chance. My father had given me his surgeon's hammer, and then, little by little, I realized that all the professions had their hammer and I built it over the meetings.
"My hammer collection"
Your furniture: rather modern, ultra design, family, pitcher ' ?
Frederick Gersal: These are mainly family furniture, regional for some and for others of 1900. Every time there have been disappearances among our parents, I tried as often as possible to keep their furniture. But seeing all this old furniture accumulated, there is little time, I wanted to give a facelift!
The most unusual or unexpected that can be discovered at home?
Frédérick Gersal: When we enter, there are colorful stained glass windows that give a warm atmosphere and a certain cachet with lines of blue, red ...
An object or piece of furniture that you could not separate?
Frederick Gersal: A book ! A priori, my dictionary of mythology, The Iliad or the Odyssey.
Your favorite color in your home ?
Frédérick Gersal: I live in blue. In every room, we always find a small note of this color: cushions, an object ...
Your last purchase - useful or futile! - for the House ?
Frederick Gersal: A pair of chairs. To bait the customers, this upholsterer chose daring fabrics. And as I love crafts, I bought him a lot and always in pairs, like everything I buy: lamps, candlesticks, sconces ... What has the gift of horrifying my wife.
The kitchen, rather open or closed?
Frederick Gersal : Open with a central island. The cook who had worked at the time on the layout had proposed this principle which is very practical.
A dish unexpectedly on the go for your friends? Your specialty?
Frederick Gersal: But never in the stove! I can just offer you some nibbles.
And TV, in which roome?
Frederick Gersal: She had trouble getting into the family because my wife was refractory to it. So, for my first TV more than 20 years ago, we had to rent one! We returned the post the same afternoon. Since then, we are equipped and there is a TV in the living room and in our room. In the evening we rarely watch it, I prefer to discuss.
Rather candle or rather ambience fragrancee?
Frederick Gersal : I am very candle but I always remain cautious, especially when my children were small. In Poitiers, there was a fabulous waterman - he unfortunately has just closed. It's for the atmosphere but not for the perfume. I like the smell of a fire and I turn it on even in the middle of the summer.
Curtains, doors, shutters? What does it inspire you?
Frederick Gersal: Door and shutters, it is at the same time the side cocoon, and also the aspect reassuring; the curtains are the privacy to preserve. As there is no opposite, it's less embarrassing not to have any. In some rooms, however, there are double curtains for a decorative effect.
At the same time, we open the door to friends as we open our hearts. When I open it, I already have a smile because I look forward to welcoming friends who will bring happiness and life in the house.
What is on your bedside table?
Frederick Gersal: My watch, a phone to avoid waking the whole house, a hand cream and especially a clock radio: this double-relaxing object allows me to start the day by listening to news, especially RTL and Radio Classique. I also zap between Europe 1 and France Inter. It lasts the time to have one or two newspapers ... I do not have the reflex TV to the chagrin of my colleagues Télématin!
A deco trick or storage?
Frederick Gersal: I am very bad at DIY! The only time I planted a hook was for my shoehorn in the entrance!
Do you dream of one more room? If yes, for which usage?
Frederick Gersal : A movie theater that is both play room and reading for my future grandchildren ... This would allow me to project particular animal films which I am passionate about.
The house of a historical personality where you would have liked to live?
Frederick Gersal : The castle of Chenonceau, for its beautiful garden, the presence of water with the gallery above the Cher, its history obviously with all the ladies who fought to have it and then I love the Loire. Living water is soothing. That may be what I miss at home.
Rather orderly or messy ?
Frederick Gersal: Ordered! Despite the books lying around, I need order to find myself in my multiple activities of journalist and speaker.
Are you green plants, flowers, balcony, terrace, garden?
Frederick Gersal: We have a small vegetable garden with some tomatoes, lettuce, leeks, raspberries ... and also some chickens for fresh eggs. It is my wife who takes care of it. I just mow and go harvest our plantations.
Your addresses or favorite brands for the home (shopping, decoration, florist, etc.)?
- "François Frères", a manufacturer of umbrellas in Poitiers: I like to match them to my gloves and my pockets. www.parapluie-artisanal.com
- The antique books fair held every summer next to my home on the town of Angle-sur-L'Anglin in Poitou, where are found 500 to 600 book dealers.
- I'm a lot too, but only in flea markets, I'm not very garage-free.
The news of Frédérick Gersal:
- His new book "THE DAY WHERE ... The 100 dates that made the history of France" at Albin Michel (January 2016);
- On France 2 in the program "Télématin";
- On France Bleu, from Monday to Friday at 5:18 in "Histoires du Prof Gersal";
- On France 3 Ile-de-France, in the short program "Paname", Frédérick Gersal joins Yvan on each walk to tell historical anecdotes about names of streets of the capital.
The new book by Frédérick Gersal published by Albin Michel