Petite Anglaise is the nickname of Catherine Sanderson, the title of her very successful blog and the title of her first book. I have to admit I did not know anything about Petite Anglaise until we started this blog, and once I discovered the blog, I meant to read it but never found the time. I wanted to go back to the very early posts and read the whole story as it had developed. Thankfully Ms. Sanderson has a very informative about me page on her website that allows the new reader to get an idea of what happened and where the author stands.
So this is her story: Catherine Sanderson is a brit living in Paris. At the time she created the blog she was living with her daughter, Tadpole, and Tadpole’s father, Mr Frog, and working as a secretary for a British firm. She started her blog to talk about the joys and pains of being an ex-pat. She begins blogging in a very funny and open way, and before long becomes a celebrity in the blogosphere! She then falls in love with one of her readers, Lover, and leaves Mr Frog. Unfortunately the story with Lover ends in tears, shortly afterwards she is fired (or better, dooced) for blogging on the job and for talking about work-related matters in her posts. It is at this stage that her story overcomes the internet community and makes it on the front pages of British newspapers. Catherine is outed, but she gets a book deal and in 2007 she wins her case for unfair dismissal.
I bought the book after reading a positive review on the FT Magazine, and I have to say I liked it. It’s well written and enjoyable. What I find really special about the book is the narration of the life behind a successful blog. There are two particular feelings that all bloggers must have experienced at some point or another. The first one is the pressure to deliver, which is the same stressful anxiety that newspaper columnists must have. A good blogger has to write a minimum number of posts and they have to be interesting and well written to please the readers (to keep them coming back). The other is experienced only by those who have personal blogs that showcase the writers’ life. Things do not really happen unless they have been posted, until readers have been made part of the event. Both these sensations must be familiar to Petite Anglaise and that emerges from the book. The author also describes in detail the interactions with readers via the comment box — a new form of relationships that did not exist before blogs.
The book has been published in the UK and the Netherlands/Belgium and will reach the North American market in mid June.
Now, as a blogger, did I deliver? Hopefully yes.
I have literally seen this woman everywhere! I saw her once on the BBC Breakfast show, in a magazine I have lying around my house, and in the newspapers. Maybe some day we’ll have her blogging fame!! 🙂
I have to say I did not really warm to the character in Petit Anglaise. But it was really interesting to follow the blogging phenomenon.